Sunday June 18 2017

History beckons in Women Cup finale

Fiery Battle. Josephine Nakyewa (L) of Gafford

Fiery Battle. Josephine Nakyewa (L) of Gafford Ladies and Betty Namataaka of Mutesa I Royal vie for the ball during the Fufa Women Cup semifinals at Wankuluku Stadium recently. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

BUSIA. Having beaten Gafford Ladies, twice in the league this season, Olila High School are favourites to create history as the first ever winners of the Fufa Women Cup that climaxes today at Madibira Grounds, Busia.
Olila won the two Victoria Group clashes between the sides in the Fufa Women Elite League 2-0 at home and 0-3 away but their coach Saddam Pande will not underrate Gafford, who went to finish sixth out of seven teams in that pool.
“We cannot say Gafford are a weak team because of what happened in the league,” Olila coach Saddam Pande, whose side beat Uganda Christian University (UCU) Lady Cardinals 2-1 on penalties in the semi-finals in Mukono, said.
Pande has, perhaps, taken lessons from their own experience.
Olila also finished sixth out seven teams in Victoria during their debut season, 2015-16, but made a turnaround in this one to qualify for the playoffs and rightly earn “the most improved team” title from league winning and Kawempe Muslim coach Ayub Khalifan.
“With the kind of league season Gafford have had, such an opportunity can always mean a lot to a team,” he added.
Gafford will be buoyed by the return of their forward Sandra Nantumbwe, who was suspended for their 2-1 away win over Muteesa I Royal University at Wankulukuku in the semifinals.
“This trophy would be a nice compensation for the league. But also for history’s sake – we would be the first team to win it,” coach Benjamin Wanyama said.
Wanyama, however, agrees that for any success to materialise, they need to read into the form book.
“It was a challenge playing Olila in the league. They had a totally new squad, we did not know about then and we took them for granted,” Wanyama said.
Gafford have been the more fortunate of the two teams with two byes in the first two rounds before dumping She Corporate 2-0 at home in the quarter finals. They could do anything for lady luck to smile at them, just this one more time.

ROAD TO THE FINAL - GAFFORD
First Round
One of seven teams to get a bye
Round of Last 16
London Stallions vs. Gafford Ladies (w/o)
Quarter Finals
Gafford Ladies 2-0 She Corporate
Semi Finals
Muteesa 1-2 Gafford
*Olila’s Road TO Busia Final
First Round
Olila 2-0 Eastern Heroes
Round of Last 16
Olila 4-0 Alleluya
Quarter Finals
Taggy High 0-1 Olila
Semi Finals
UCU 2(1)-2(2) Olila

mmuziransa@ug.nationmedia.com

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