Ethiopia stages stunning comeback to win inaugural CECAFA Women’s U-20 title

Morocco will be the host country for the 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football has announced. /VCG

Ethiopia overcame the dismissal of a player and their coach to rally from two goals down and defeat hosts Uganda 3-2 in the final of the CECAFA Women’s U-20 Championship at the FUFA Technical Centre Ground in Njeru on Tuesday.

Uganda raced to a 2-0 lead at the break through Hadijah Nandago (26’) and captain Fauzia Najjemba (40’) capitalizing on the sending off of Ethiopian goalkeeper Lorato Eyerusalem after just six minutes.

Ethiopia came from two goals down to defeat hosts Uganda 3-2 and win the inaugural CECAFA Women’s U-20 Championship. /VCG

However, Ethiopia came out a different side in the second half and halved the deficit through Ridet Assrasahang five minutes after the restart.

Ariet Odong then came off the bench and equalized for Ethiopia with 12 minutes of normal time left setting up a tense finale.

Despite the subsequent dismissal of head coach Firew Hailegebral, Ethiopia dug deep and completed their comeback with Turist Lema firing the winner in the 82nd minute.

After the game, Hailegebral paid tribute to his team for their resilience despite playing nearly the entire match with 10 women.

“This has been a very tough game and I thank my team for remaining strong headed even after we got an early red card.”

The win saw Ethiopia finish top of the six-team tournament, which was played under a league format. Uganda finished second with 12 points while Tanzania, who thumped Djibouti 8-0 earlier in the day, ended up third with nine points.

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