Wananchi secure Cup final berth in more late drama

Martin Okello in action for Wananchi. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA 

What you need to know:

Weatherhead took a 3-2 advantage from the first leg on Saturday afternoon and were in cruise control, or so they thought, when they scored two early goals at the start of the second leg on Sunday evening.


One would be forgiven for thinking Wananchi just love to toy around with Weatherhead.

Otherwise, how do both teams explain the almost scripted comebacks the former put up to defeat the latter in decisive games; these are usually characterized by Weatherhead retreating after taking what look like comfortable leads then conspiring to earn suspensions that accelerate Wananchi's fighting spirit.

"We do it all the time," Wananchi defender Martin Okello said as darkness hovered around Lugogo at the climax of dramatic semi-final clashes in the Uganda Cup on Sunday.

Remember those 2018 and 2019 league meetings between the two, then Wananchi's Memorial Shield triumph earlier this year. Almost the same exact thing happened this Sunday in Lugogo as Wananchi returned from 5-2 down on aggregate to 'snatch victory from the jaws of defeat' in the men's semis.

Weatherhead took a 3-2 advantage from the first leg on Saturday afternoon and were in cruise control, or so they thought, when they scored two early goals at the start of the second leg on Sunday evening.

Wananchi had no option but to throw caution out of the wind while Weatherhead retreated and socked pressure.

Never over until it really is
Towards the end of the third quarter, the pressure paid off as Jackson Musinguzi dragged a penalty corner to pull a goal back for Wananchi.

Shortly after, the umpire sent Weatherhead's Emmanuel Asaph to rest for 10 minutes after he fouled Shafic Byamukama as he charged at goal. In the final quarter, Weatherhead goalkeeper Charles Ekapolon was also sent off for five minutes for remonstrating at the second umpire Winnie Alaro and Wananchi's James Larombi pulled another one back against a gaping goal.

Asaph and Ekapolon returned but they were welcomed to Musinguzi's stinging backhand shot from a penalty corner rebound after his drag had been repelled.

In the ensuing shootout, Weatherhead were again their own destruction as Alfred Agaba dragged his flick wide while Colline Batusa hit the upright as they were beaten 4-3.

Wananchi's win was a consolation for their women's side who lost 6-4 on aggregate to Deliverance Church of Uganda (DCU) - a side keen on showing they are the next dominant force in women's hockey.

For Weatherhead, defeat was a failure to emulate their ladies' side who beat Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) Swans 3-2 on aggregate to make the finals following an impressive counter attacking display that gave them a 3-0 win on Saturday.

The Swans tried to fight back on Sunday but fell agonizingly short but they were also consoled by their men (Stallions)'s 9-4 aggregate win over Makerere University in a largely one-sided affair.

HOCKEY: UGANDA CUP

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS

WOMEN

1st Leg: Wananchi 1-2 DCU

2nd Leg: DCU 4-2 Wananchi

DCU win 6-3 on aggregate

1st Leg: KHC Swans 0-3 Weatherhead

2nd Leg: Weatherhead 0-2 KHC Swans

Weatherhead win 3-2 on aggregate

MEN

1st Leg: Weatherhead 3-2 Wananchi

2nd Leg: Wananchi 3-2 Weatherhead

Wananchi wins 4-3 on penalties after 5-5 aggregate draw

1st Leg: Makerere University 1-4 KHC Stallions

2nd Leg: KHC Stallions 5-3 Makerere University

KHC Stallions win 9-4 on aggregate

Finals on November 26.

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