Uganda Kobs (U23)
The Uganda U23 also known as the Kobs is the top underage national Team next to the senior Team (Uganda Cranes). It’s the direct feeder of the Uganda Cranes.
It has in the past years featured in a number of qualification campaigns most notably 1999 seventh All Africa Games that were held in South Africa.
Under coach Leo Adraa assisted by Jimmy Muguwa with Tushar Ruparelia as a manager, the squad that had quite a number of talented players was captained by Andy Lule.
Uganda Kobs (1999) Squad
GOALKEEPERS: Sam Kawalya (Express), Hussein Ssali (KCC FC), Andrew Jjombwe (SC Villa)
DEFENDERS: Robert Kabanda (Scoul), Mike Jjuuko (Scoul), Ibrahim Sekagya (KCC FC), Aggrey Bigala (SC Villa), Andy Lule (Express), Abubeker Tabula (SC Villa).
MIDFIELDERS: David Lukwago (Simba), Bobic Odowa (Express), Morley Byekwaso (KCC FC), Kyambadde Willy (KCC FC), Phillip Ssozi (SC Villa), Mike Sebalinga (Nile), David Obua (Police FC), Hakim Magumba (SC Villa), Alex Isabirye (Express FC) Lawrence Musoke (KCC FC).
FORWARDS: Hassan Mubiru (SC Villa), Andrew “Fimbo” Mukasa (SC Villa), Robert Sejjemba (Police FC), Eugen Ssepuya (Mbale Heroes)
Other influential players that were part of the qualifiers missed out in the final squad due to injury problems and others had traveled to USA.
Key players that missed All African Games:
Authur Byansiima (USA), Geoffrey Bukohore (USA), Wilber Musika (USA), James Odoch (Injury), Baker Mbowa (Injury).
Others; Harunah Mawa, Senabulya Baker, Gayi Wilson, Abed Bironse, Med Nsubuga, Henry Kabeta, Kisa Jalendo, Livingstone Mbabazi, Semanda Joseph, and David Kalungi.
The Kobs reached the Semifinals of the All African Games losing to Cameroon 1-0.
ALL AFRICAN GAMES 1999
Uganda Kobs were in Group A with hosts South Africa, Mali and Algeria.
9th Sept 1999 – Uganda Kobs 2-0 Mali
(Morley Byekwaso and Willy Kyambadde Scored for Kobs)
11th Sept 1999 – Algeria 2-0 Uganda
13th Sept 1999 – Uganda 0-0 South Africa
Uganda Kobs finished 2nd with 4 points.
17th Sept 1999 – Cameroon 1-0 Uganda Kobs
The game ended 0-0 in normal time. Cameroon scored in the 18th minute of the extra time.
The Kobs lost to South Africa 2-0 in the third-place playoff 0n 19th Sept 1999.
2011 ALL AFRICAN GAMES:
12 years later, the Kobs yet again made it to 2011 All Africa games this time in Maputo, Mozambique under coach George Ssimwogerere assisted by George Nsimbe.
The Kobs were pitted in group B along with West African giants Cameroon and Senegal in which they only managed one point from two games.
5th Sept 2011 – Uganda 0-0 Cameroon
8th Sept 2011 – Uganda 1-2 Senegal
(Sadam Juma Scored Kobs Goal)
The Kobs finished fifth overall out of the six teams that took part in the final tournament
These draws weren’t enough to see the team through to the knock-out stages. But having beaten Tanzania 5-2 on aggregate before humbling Kenya 5-1 in the first leg in Nairobi, Uganda was showing ruthlessness even at the under-age competitions in East Africa.
The full Uganda Kobs squad that went to Maputo.
Goalkeepers: Benjamin Ochan (SC Villa), Ali Kimera (Victors), Robert Odongkara (St. George).
Defenders: Saka Mpiima (KCC), Ivan Bukenya (Proline), Denis Guma, Ayub Kisalita (SC Villa), Godfrey Walusimbi, Habib Kavuma, Ronald Ssaku (Bunna), Isaac Isinde (St. George)
Midfielders: Ceasar Sapeo (KCC), Mike Mutyaba, Owen Kasule (Bunna), Juma Sadam, Moses Oloya (Sai Gon, Vietnam) Ntambi Crizestom (Navi, Vietnam) Isaac Kirabira (SC Villa), Sula Matovu (St George),
Strikers: Patrick Edema (Proline), Edirisa Kaye (SC Villa), Hamis Kiiza (Yanga), Emmanuel Okwi (Simba, Tanzania).
2016 Olympics Qualifiers
Four years later the Kobs coached by Milutin Sredejovic and skippered by Faruku Miya returned in the African U-23 championship/Olympic qualifiers and defeated Rwanda over two legs in the first qualification round before falling 6-1 on aggregate to Egypt.
2019 AFCON Qualifiers
In 2018, the Kobs side coached by Wasswa Bbosa and Skippered by Musitafa Mujuzi failed at the first hurdle of the 2019 AFCON U23 qualifiers when the team shockingly lost 2-1 on aggregate to South Sudan.
The squad that played South Sudan
Goalkeepers: Tom Ikara, Saidi Keni
Musitafa Mujuzi, Musitafa Kizza, Ashiraf Mugume,Geoffrey Wasswa, Lawrence Bukenya, Bashir Asiku, Shafik Kuchi Kagimu, Allan Okello, Joel Madondo, Steven Desse Mukwala, Rashid Toha, Julius Poloto, Joseph Junior Semujju, Alex Komakech, Ezekiel Duncan Sseninde, Trevor Ssemakula
Head coach: Charles Wasswa Bbosa
Assistant coach: Charles Ayiekoh Lukula
Goalkeeper Trainer: Wassa Sadiq
Team Physician: Yahaya Katumba
Team coordinator: Joseph Kasana
Media officer: Farid Mpagi
Delegates: Farouk Kigongo Semakula and John Bosco Masiko
CECAFA U23 Challenge Cup 2021
The Uganda Kobs took part in the 2021 CECAFA U23 Challenge Cup in Ethiopia. This was after CECAFA decided to change from the Senior edition and instead have a Championship of players under the age of 23.
Uganda was pooled in Group A alongside Tanzania and DR Congo. The first game for the Kobs came on 18th July 2021 against DR Congo, ending in a goalless draw.
The other group game against Tanzania also ended in a one-all draw with Steven Mukwala scoring for Uganda.
The team, however could not qualify out of the group stages and only settled for a 5th place after defeating DR Congo and Eritrea.
Against DR Congo, Najib Yiga scored the lone goal of the game. He also scored in the final classification game, where Uganda overcame Eritrea 2-1. Steven Mukwala scored the other.
Uganda U23 Games