Kampala. If Police’s 2-0 win over Express on Monday was a fluke, Abdallah Mubiru thinks it could be even more brutal when the two teams face off in the quarterfinals of the Stanbic Uganda Cup next week.
Police needed Juma Balinya and Johnson Odong’s strikes in either half to revenge a 3-1 loss in the first round of the league over the Red Eagles, who have since replaced Kefa Kisala with George ‘Ssimu’ Ssemwogerere as head coach.
The win turned heads at Wankulukuku and Mubiru’s goalkeeping coach, James Magala, was hired as assistant to Ssimu. He now has a point to prove when he meets them for the second time this season at Wankulukuku.
Asked if he thinks this will be a tougher game, Mubiru replied with a broad grin: “Why do teams underrate us? Apart from Kirinya-Jinja SS, no other team has found it easy against us. I know they (Express) have changed a lot of things but in the Uganda Cup, there are no second chances,” he said. He expects them to be more competitive as their start attacker Michael Birungi, also played for Police two seasons ago. “They have people who want to prove a point and that is good for us.”
Express have been in action for just 90 minutes, after getting a walkover against Paidha in the round of 64. Their 2-1 win over Water was unconvincing and this tie should be the toughest fixture so far. Ssemwogerere says that is a simple job.
“First of all, we shall start playing the 4-4-2 formation instead of 3-5-2 because it is ideal for the players we have,” he noted.
Coincidentally, when Express last lifted the Uganda Cup in 2007, it was the Ssemwogerere, Kefa Kisala and Edward Kalungi combination that delivered it.
“This is the only window for any trophy because the league requires us to get a respectable finish and we wait for next season.
As Mubiru said, such battles take the best out of any players. “I am sure we are going to have a good game. These are the kind of matches even fans ask for.”
Express vs Police Wankulukuku
Bul vs Bukedea Njeru Centre
Wakiso Giants vs Tooro Bugembe
Kitara vs Kyetume Kigaya P/S
Vipers vs Kiboga St Mary’s SS
URA vs Bright Stars Namboole
Proline vs Onduparaka Lugogo
Nebbi Central vs Nkambi Luo Grounds
*Ties to be played between Feb 14 and 19