Last season Onduparaka banked on an unbeaten home record enroute to finishing a decent fifth in their maiden Azam Uganda Premier League (AUPL) topflight season.
But with the majority of the squad playing in the top division for the first time, the Arua-based club struggled on the road.
The coaching staff comprising Leo Adraa, Livingstone Mbabazi and the returning Moses Oloya consequently set out to improve their away performances by going for more experience.
Six games into the season, the move appears to be paying dividends despite requiring the club to deviate slightly from their earlier position of fielding mostly home-based players.
And it is one of those experienced players in Caesar Okhuti that is leading the charge.
Born in Arua, the striker has had his playing time greatly reduced with the additions of Alfred Leku and Karim Ndugwa.
He has also had to adjust his playing style that relied mostly on devastating pace at his peak to try to fit into the teams approach that often employs one central striker.
Having notched both goals in the club’s opening away game against Maroons, the former Vipers forward was at it again on Friday against another of his former sides Express at Wankulukuku.
With the game destined for a one-all draw after Dan ‘Mzee’ Sserunkuma cancelled out Leku’s opener, Okhuti stepped off the bench to deliver all three points with a stunning effort in added time. A throw in found its way to the forward and with the Express defenders backing off, he controlled it before unleashing an acrobatic left-footed volley past Express goalkeeper Godwin Buule to send the away fans into delirium.
“Last season we drew here and so we made a strategy to go all out for a win this time round,” Onduparaka’s Adraa said after the game.
The win, their second away from home in three games, took them to the top of the table at least for 24 hours with 13 points from six games ahead of Vipers and Kirinya - Jinja SS.
They could also start the week atop the log if Police, who were due to play away in Mbarara - the league’s lone fixture yesterday - failed to pick maximum points.
AZAM UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
Express 1-2 Onduparaka
UPDF 2-2 Masavu