A fitting finale for UPL, again

SC Villa fans will be extremely expectant after a long drought. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

The last time Kitara had been in the league in the 200-21 season, they finished bottom with a paltry 13 points from 27 points to get relegated.

It took only 15 minutes last September for Kitara to announce themselves to Ugandan football in their first game since their return to the topflight.

Their fans filled Wankulukuku to drag their team to a 2-1 away win against SC Villa that could have been ignored by many in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.

The last time Kitara had been in the league in the 200-21 season, they finished bottom with a paltry 13 points from 27 points to get relegated.

After years in the BetPawa Fufa Big League, they set the ball rolling against the record champions but not everyone was paying attention.

That day perhaps set the tone for the season which will be decided on the final day for a second successive season, exactly what Uganda football needs.

SC Villa are dreaming big. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

Any one of SC Villa, Vipers, Bul and Kitara can win the league. There is only three points between the quartet heading into the final game on Saturday.  

Hands on prize

In what has been a see-saw title race it is difficult to predict with finality that SC Villa, leaders with 54 points, will be crowned the champions.

Not after what they did last season! Villa went into the final game needing to beat URA to end a title drought going back 2004.

A 1-0 loss to the Tax Collectors coupled with Vipers and KCCA saw the Jogoos finish third. Vipers retained the title for the first in their history.  

The recent run-in makes it even harder. In the past 10 days or so, all the contenders have enjoyed moments at the top of the table.

It has been that dramatic. Jinja-based side Bul, third on 53 points, the same tally as second-placed Vipers, find themselves clinging on.

“We tried to give everything [against Mbarara] but we could only get a point but that does not mean the fight is over,” James Magala, the Bul assistant head coach, said.

“Villa is ahead of us by a point but they’re facing Nec, which has not been an easy team this season. That said, we have to focus on our game against Busoga and win because at least what we have learnt this season is that every team in the league is tricky and are sure that the title will only be decided after the final whistle,” he added.


In this race, Kitara led until match day 25 when Mbarara City held them by the collar to a disappointing draw. 

Vipers then claimed the mantle after a 1-0 win over Express in a postponed fixture, at least from the formula that the league secretariat had employed to tabulate.

Fufa then reminded of the new head-to-head rule that catapulted Bul back to the summit, again.

Kitara forward Paul Mucureezi is down but not out. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

This time Bul needed to beat Gaddafi, Mbarara City and Busoga United in their remaining games to claim their prize.

They managed to skin a 1-0 win against the Soldier Boys but the draw against Mbarara on Tuesday proved too costly.

Vipers beat Busoga 2-1 away to Njeru on the same afternoon with the live table putting them ahead after their second goal in the 66th minute. 

The ticking table changed 12 minutes later when Umar Lutalo and Kenneth Semakula scored two quick-fire goals to lift SC Villa from a goal down to win 2-1 deep in the 80s.

Bul’s goalless draw now meant that Villa, for a second successive season, retained the top place going into the final match of the season.

It will surely go down to the final kick which could see anyone of the four being crowned champions.

StarTimes Uganda Premier League

Saturday at 3pm

Nec vs. SC Villa

Vipers vs. Mbarara

Kitara vs. Gadaffi

Maroons vs. KCCA

URA vs. Bright Stars

Wakiso Giants vs. UPDF


Gadaffi 3-2 Express