Money can’t buy you love and instant success most times.
URA learned that first hand on Friday as the 11-player hefty transfer investment had no immediate positive effect enroute their 2-0 loss to home side Mbarara City in the Pilsner Super 8 Tournament match played at Kakyeka Stadium.
Second half strikes by Brian Aheebwa and Paul Mucureezi offered Sam Ssimbwa’s side the ouster and the harsh realities of what awaits them when the league resumes next month.
Prior to the match, Ssimbwa had lamented over the absence of six pivotal players and the potential suspect officiating by the match officials, little wonder he mentioned the two as the key letdowns after the match.
“There were some lapses in officiating. We got a genuine penalty but the referee waved us off,” Ssimbwa moaned.
He added; “Mbarara City was good but we missed our players that are with the Uganda Cranes. Some of our new players were also denied playing licences. “
Same old Mbarara
Mbarara City, although now under a new gaffer in Brian Ssenyondo, paraded most of the players that drove them to fifth in the league last term with Mucureezi, Hilary Mukundane, Pistis Barenge and Ibrahim Orit forming the bedrock of the team and proving the necessary experience.
Ssimbwa gave new recruits Mikidadi Ssenyonga,Anwar Ntege and Brian Majwega the opportunity to impress on their first competitive outing but they couldn’t match the hosts’ readiness and resolve.
Up next in the ring is Onduparaka, the team that snatched former Mbarara City coach Livingstone Mbabazi, in a desperate move to reclaim their lost glory and tradition.
Mbabazi has his work cut out at the Green Light Stadium by rebuilding a depleted team that has lost strong pillars Gaddafi Anguzu, Rashid Toha and Viane Ssekajugo.
He is tasked with returning the home turf advantage, restore the team’s aggressive and attacking verve, too.
Tooro United are in Arua on a soul searching mission having lost two vital players; Simon Sserunkuma (to KCCA) and Allan Kayiwa (to Vipers) but managed to hold onto coach Wasswa Bbosa - their mini magician.
His gritty football approach is likely to be met with full force with Onduparaka’s counterattacking philosophy making it a hard to predict contest.