Football fans that braved the yesterday’s afternoon drizzle at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo were treated to a thrilling Uganda Premier League contest between URA and KCCA, even if the result didn’t offer that much to the two club’s pressing ambitions.
It was a game both sides had a chance to win but ended in a 1-1 draw – propelling URA coach Sam Ssimbwa to declare his title aspirations wrapped up while KCCA’s Mike Mutebi interpreted it as a stepping stone to catching up on the lead pack.
It was URA’s seventh draw and one that one that painfully came after they had taken the lead through Ashraf Mandela’s deflected goal on eight minutes. The hosts levelled on 57 minutes when substitute Steven Sserwadda, on for off-colour Nigerian forward John Odemegwu, headed the ball into Allan Okello’s path to shoot beyond James Alitho in URA’s goal.
“We are automatically out of the title race because of the draws. Most of the draws have been aided by some people and those who were in Bombo, Kitende and Luzira can testify. But KCCA is a good side,” Ssimbwa said.
The match was not bereft of drama as centre referee Alex Muhabi was replaced by fourth official John Bosco Kalibbala moments after second half resumption.
The latter sustained what looked like a calf injury. Both sides matched each other pound for pound which explains why the chances were far and few.
“We had planned well tactically until we forgot Okello - the best player in the league.
“I don’t have pressure because I know those who hired me knew what I could offer.
“My younger brother (Mutebi) has a better team and I always don’t what to lose against him. I wanted three points to skip four places,” Ssimbwa added.
URA are holed 10th on the log while the point from the match moved KCCA to fourth, with four matches in hand.
“We played one of the best sides in the league a point for us was good enough. We would have liked three points but, we are playing catch up and are grateful for every point we gained as we aim to defend title,” Mutebi told Daily Monitor.