By Emma Amooti
The CECAFA U15 Boys championship 2023 came to an end on Thursday, November 16th at the FUFA Technical Centre Njeru as Tanzania secured the third place and Zanzibar taking home the trophy while Uganda in second place.
Zanzibar humbled hosts Uganda in the final to win the regional 2023 CECAFA U-15 Boys Championship.
Both nations played to a one all draw in a match that was decided by spot kicks with Zanzibar beating Uganda Rhinos 4-3 at the FUFA Technical centre in Njeru on Saturday.
Lukman Omar gave Zanzibar the lead after 19 minutes, but the Uganda Rhinos responded with an equalizer after 30 minutes through Ibra Ssebagala. The two teams failed to find more goals in the second half.
But Zanzibar’s goalkeeper Mahir Amour who was also the hero when they ejected South Sudan in penalties at the semi final stage rose to the occasion to stop two penalty kicks to ensure his team won 4-3.
Ecock Bagenda, Ibra Ssebagala and Richard Okello were on target for the host Uganda while Ronald Kigoye and Ratib Gulanyago missed. Zanzibar scored four out of five penalties through Saleh Mbarouk, Adam Shaaban, Hassan Iddi and Lukman Omar. They missed only one penalty through Fahad Hassan.
In the third place playoff, a lone goal from Kaniki Seleman before the first half came to an end saw Tanzania overcome South Sudan in the highly contested match.
” The boys worked hard to become champions, ” said Zanzibar coach Mohamed Mrishona Mohamed after the match.
During the Awards Uganda’s Owen Mukisa was voted Best Player, while Zanzibar’s Amour was the best goalkeeper. Lazarus Peter George from South Sudan who netted eight goals scooped the top scorer’s gong, and Ethiopia won the Fair Play trophy.
The Awards ceremony was attended by the President of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Wallace Karia and the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) President Moses Hassim Magogo.
The eight teams that took part in the regional Championship include ; Zanzibar, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Somalia.
Meanwhile, Zanzibar President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council Hussein Ali Mwinyi has sent a private jet to bring home heroic Karume Boys who have clinched the 2023 CECAFA Under-15 Boys title in Uganda.
This has been confirmed through a post shared on the official Instagram page of the Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on Friday morning and the brave boys are set to land in Zanzibar at around 2:00 pm today (Saturday)