Contenders clash

Wednesday May 12 2021
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Men That Matter. Ssentamu of Vipers (L) and URA captain Kagimu boast of a combined 22 goals in the Uganda Premier League thus far. PHOTOS/JOHN BATANUDDE

By Elvis Senono
By Denis Bbosa

Yesterday, two of the top three got to learn their Stanbic Uganda Cup quarterfinals opponents. 
Vipers and Express face tough games against SC Villa and KCCA respectively. None had the time to dwell on those spicy ties which are the pathway to hunting a league and cup double. For now, there is bigger fish to fry in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.

Leaders URA (50 points) travel to St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende to face second-placed Vipers (49) today while Express, third on 46 points, are at Kyetume in Njeru.
“We aim to win the competitions we are participating in because we have all it takes to do so,” Vipers coach Kajoba said. 

He would know that today’s clash is no title decider.
Toughest game

However, the winner will have a clear advantage in the race to win this season’s league title as it appears to be the toughest game left for both sides.
URA head coach Sam Ssimbwa had hoped his opponents dropped points against KCCA to put them in a more desperate situation which didn’t happen as they ran out 2-1 winners on Sunday.

He is now banking on Steven Mukwala to do the damage against his former club with the striker having made a scoring return from injury in a 3-1 win over Onduparaka.
“We are motivated by this win because the club has not reached that tally in the last five years. 
Mukwala is a big plus for our team and I think by Wednesday (today) he’ll be fully fit and I am sure he’ll deliver,” Ssimbwa said.

Mukwala vs. Ssentamu
Mukwala notched his 11th league goal of the campaign to move within two goals of top scorer Yunus Ssentamu of Vipers.

Simbwa will also take heart from the forward’s link up play with captain Shafik Kagimu who he assisted as he notched a brace against Onduparaka to move his tally to nine league goals thus far.
Kagimu has also previously scored twice as URA recorded two wins from their last three visits to Kitende. Their hosts, wanting to delay URA’s title wait longer than the current 10 years, should be in the mood.

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Ssentamu and Milton Karisa were on the scoresheet at Lugogo as they illustrated their squad depth having left out Ibrahim Orit and Disan Galiwango from their starting lineup.
Paul Mucurezi who has contributed nine goals in the league this season did not even get onto the pitch against his former side while Caesar Manzoki with seven goals also played a cameo role.

Easier run-in
If the top teams slip up, Express will hope to take advantage with a win over Kyetume to close the four-point gap on URA. On paper, the Red Eagles have an easier run-in.
“The only way we can keep the pressure on the title chase is to win games and that’s the mentality the boys have so we pray we execute our plan on match-day,” Express coach Wasswa Bbosa noted.

They play an unpredictable Kyetume side locked in a race to avoid relegation and currently occupy the third and final relegation spot with 20 points, four shy of safety.
They have shown signs of improvement winning two of their last four games and losing once.


UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
Today’s fixtures – 4pm
Kitara         vs.     BUL
Kyetume         vs.      Express
Police         vs.      KCCA
Vipers         vs.     URA
(Live On Sanyuka TV)
Yesterday’s results
Onduparaka     1-0     SC Villa 
Bright Stars     3-1      Mbarara City
Busoga United     1-1      Wakiso Giants
UPDF         1-1     Myda


STANBIC UGANDA CUP

QUARTERFINAL DRAW
KCCA                       vs.    Express
SC Villa                   vs.    Vipers
Wakiso Giants    vs.    Police
Proline                     vs.    Kigezi HomeBoyz/Bul
*To be played between May 25-June 2

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