By 37 minutes, Express had riddled the StarTimes Uganda Premier League title contenders URA thrice to send a stern warning to whoever had written them off.
Wasswa Bbosa’s Express pulled off the admirable feat in style and with command even when they had lost mercurial defender Murushid Juuko to red card on 52 minutes.
This wasn’t the Red Eagles that was limping to the first round finish line with star goal grabber George Ssenkaaba injured, this was a blazing Express side that had forward Eric Kambale and new recruit Martin Kizza as protagonists.
Kambale’s brace, a clinical header and a well-placed penalty shone him brighter as the unsung hero of the team’s attack – and a safe bet in tough times.
All ambitious sides require such players. They also have actors like Godfrey Lwesibawa, a speedy right man who chooses big matches to shine.
His clinical opening header, after his marker Brian Majwega lost his whereabouts, got Bbosa dancing on the touchline like he had got an early Easter package.
“We are glad we managed to win our first game of the second round at home,” Bbosa said.
Getting a double off URA and moving third on 35 points, one adrift of table leaders Vipers and the vanquished Tax Collectors brought the feel good factor for the Wankulukuku side that continues to amaze in their renaissance season.
For Bbosa, the 3-1 tactical master class over URA gaffer Sam Ssimbwa was a perfect assessment of the esteemed coach he is turning into.
“The most important thing today is that we prepared well, we managed to play even with 10 men but I think we used our chances well,” he said.
“The boys played as a unit, now we turn focus on the Uganda Cup away game to Kyetume. Our target is to stay in both competitions and to win them.”
Kizza, the former KCCA and SC Villa deft left winger, had a hand in all three goals on his debut, must have given Bbosa the confidence that the adored double is very much possible.
The title race is now wide open with URA sitting second tied on 36 points with Fred Kajoba’s Vipers that made light work of UPDF, winning 3-0 on Friday at Bombo Barracks.
Congolese import Caesar Manzoki grabbed a brace while forward Paul Mucureezi scored from the spot to grant Kajoba his 11th win in 16 matches played thus far.
Kyetume demote Isabirye
The managerial changes at beleaguered Kyetume resumed yesterday with the club administration replacing Alex Isabirye with former Uganda Cranes forward Jackson Mayanja.
Isabirye had not won a match in six attempts since succeeding Livingstone Mbabazi just recently, making it impossible for even his rosary to save him on Easter Sunday.
The 3-0 mauling by Police on Saturday that left the Mukono-based Slaughters on 12 points and sitting 14th on the log put paid to Isabirye’s brief reign.
The rosary clutching tactician was relegated to Mayanja’s deputy a role he gladly accepted. Isabirye and Mayanja have had stints before with Kyetume but the inconsistencies in club management now point to a looming relegation scare.
Byekwaso nails it on day one
From the changed dress code - fitting navy blue blazers and matching floral tie – to the composed touchline command – new KCCA boss Morley Byekwaso ticked all the boxes on his first assignment.
The 3-0 victory over Bul on Friday at the MTN Philip Omondi-Lugogo served it all – a team in transition, a manager out to silence doubters in all aspects and a club desperate to make up for lost time.
Goals by forward Charles Lwanga, right wing-back Filbert Obenchan and returning midfielder Julius Poloto ensured KCCA closed in on the leading pack – now fourth in the table with 30 points from 16 matches.
“We are going back to iron out a few things ahead of our next Uganda cup game on Wednesday. I wasn’t so convinced today but I will try to create many new things.
“We have given in 25 percent today but we will increase. You don’t change a lot at the beginning,” Byekwaso said.
He is still optimistic the 13-time league kings are firmly in the title contention even when hope had faded during his predecessor Mike Mutebi’s reign.
Elsewhere, at Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium, hosts Wakiso Giants continued their free-fall, losing 2-1 to Mbarara City to stay just above relegation zone on 16 points. At Kavumba, Soltilo Bright Stars saw off minnows Kitara 3-1 to climb to ninth on 20 points.