Home side Uganda beat Kenya 2-0 in the deciding match on Tuesday to clinch the title at the inaugural edition of the CECAFA Under-17 Girls tournament in Jinja. The Ugandan side has now picked up a second consecutive Under-17 crown, having also won the COSAFA title two months ago.
Heading into the final round of fixtures in the six-nation tournament, Uganda topped the table with 10 points, two ahead of Tanzania and just needed to win against third placed Kenya to ensure they clinched the title.
Their come-from-behind 1-1 draw against the Kilimanjaro Queens in the penultimate group matches had seen them put one hand on the title.
They ensured both their hands were on the coveted piece of silverware on the final day of the competition after hitting Kenya. Fauzia Najjemba who was named the tournament’s most valuable player broke the deadlock in the first half with a fine finish.
Juliet Nakulenge, fresh from being named the FUFA women’s footballer of the year capped off her wonderful week with the second goal in the second half, assuring Uganda of victory.
Nalukenge was Uganda’s top and tournaments second best scorer with nine goals, three shy from Tanzania striker Aisha Masaka, whose 7 goals in the 10-0 routing of Djibouti earlier in the day, gave her the top scorer’s award.
“I am very grateful to God for this achievement. I want to thank the players for the hard work and FUFA for allowing the young girls to take part in the girls event. The tournament was not a simple one, it was too competitive and I am glad we are the ones having come out victorious,” Uganda head coach Ayub Khalifa said.
Tanzania, to whom only Uganda dropped points in the 1-1 draw, finished second with 11 points while Kenya came third on 7 points, with tournament’s fair play award team Burundi coming in fourth position after beating Eritrea 4-0 to pick 7 points too, but with a minor goal difference.
Djibouti finished bottom of the six team pile without scoring a goal and conceding 48. They lost 14-0 to Kenya, 11-0 to Uganda, 8-0 to Burundi, 5-0 to Eritrea and lastly 10-0 to Tanzania.