The writing was on the wall that hosts Masaka SS had no ammunition to win this year’s Copa Schools tourney in Masaka but the home advantage gave them reason to believe.
Defending champions Kibuli, trimmed down to nine men 15 minutes into the chaotic, temper-filled game, brutally exposed the cracks in Masaka’s armour yesterday at Masaka Recreation Ground to stroll into today’s semifinals.
Kibuli forward Adam Musisi grabbed the lead on nine minutes after being set up by the marvelous Allan Okello before referee Ashraf Miiro’s regrettable officiating naivety put the game in disarray on 15 minutes.
Miiro, a grade two Fufa referee, awarded the hosts a controversial penalty scored by Jacob Okao that sent Kibuli players into protest.
In the ensuing melee that attracted police interference, Miiro, a UPDF soldier and linesman in the Uganda Premier League, sent off Kibuli skipper Fred Tabu and Musisi for misdemeanor.
The crowd, in their thousands, have often accused feeble Masaka of getting ‘soft’ decisions, rented their support to Kibuli - and it’s that thunderous backing that they rode on to hold on to the 1-1 scoreline in normal time.
At some point, sobbing Kibuli players wanted to walk off the field in protest but their coach Peter Male, also shedding tears, told them to carry on with a changed 4-3-1 defensive formation that frustrated hapless Masaka. Kibuli custodian Otim Oliga was the spot kicks hero saving from Okao, Ronald Sempala and Muhammed Ochegere to bring his school with in grasp of a record 11th trophy.
Kitende escape Dynamic assault
The contest between Kitende and Dynamic SSS from Mukono was befitting of a final. Like wounded lions, Dynamic defended Kitende’s constant attacks and got out of the blocks to counterattack through Mansur Safi, Sharif Ssegirinya and Fahd Matovu.
After a barren draw in normal time, it was time for the nail biting spot kicks that had the eight-winners on the verge of exit, only for goalkeeper Eric Kibowa to save three penalties. Such was the intensity of the match at Masaka recreation ground that Kitende winger Sula Lwanga required medical attention after fainting on the pitch.
Jinja rout Citizens
Free scoring Joel Madondo made it 12 goals in the tourney with a well taken quadruple for Jinja SSS in the 5-1 demolition of Citizens HS. Ivan Wani netted the other for Hassan Fungu’s side that is vowing to make it to the final.
Today, Nakaseke take on Jinja SSS while Kitende host Kibuli in the semi finals at Kitovu Arena. The final will be held tomorrow at Recreation Ground.