Ghana celebrated independence day by beating Uganda 2-0 in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to win their first African Under-20 championship title in 10 years.
Black Satellites captain Daniel Afriyie Barnieh proved the difference, scoring in each half to sink a Ugandan side seeking the country’s first African title at any level.
With victories in 1993, 1999, 2009 and now 2021 too, Ghana joins Egypt on four titles although both teams are still some way behind record seven-time champions Nigeria.
The last time Ghana won the competition, their team went on to win the Under-20 World Cup but there is no chance of that happening after Fifa cancelled this year’s tournament in Indonesia because of coronavirus.
Ghana and Uganda had previously met in the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations final when, by coincidence, it had also ended 2-0 to the West Africans.
“Congratulations to the Black Satellites. What a way to celebrate our 64th Independence Anniversary!!” tweeted Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Uganda, who threatened throughout the game, will feel they could have got on the scoresheet after just three minutes only for Derrick Kakooza to lob over when well-placed.
Ghana twice hit the crossbar following a corner, which provided the route for Barnieh’s first as he flicked in neatly at the near post after 21 minutes following a corner by Abdul Fatawu Issahaku.
Barnieh’s second, just six minutes into the second half, fell kindly for him after a cross from Percious Boah deflected into his path just yards from goal.
Ghana only reached the knock-out stages after qualifying as one of the two best third-placed teams in the groups while Uganda’s Morley Byekwaso, despite the defeat, was later named coach of the tournament.