There is more than just a trophy and bragging rights to play for in the playoffs of this season’s Fufa Women Super League (FWSL) that start today at Fufa Technical Centre – Njeru.
The overall winner of the competition will represent Uganda in the Cecafa Zonal Qualifiers for the inaugural edition of the Caf Women’s Champions League.
As Group Two wound down on Saturday, Uganda Christian University (UCU) Lady Cardinals pipped the free-scoring Lady Doves to top spot, avoiding Group One leaders and record champions Kawempe Muslim SS in the process.
UCU beat Olila High School 1-0 through a well-struck freekick by defender Shadia Nankya to go top on nine points while the Doves conspired to let She Corporate dominate and hold them to a goalless draw that left them on eight points.
Nankya’s goal set her up for a reunion with the side that buttered her bread and brought her to the fore of women’s football – Uganda Martyrs High School (UMHS), Lubaga.
Changes in setting
Over the one year preceding the suspension of sports due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these sides met thrice; both winning away from home when the Fufa Women Elite League (FWEL) was still the top-flight division.
UCU went on to stop Kawempe’s dominance by winning the league that season 2018/19.
Nankya played for UMHS then but a lot has changed at UCU too. Coach Peter Ssebulime has since passed on, and captain Moureen Kinavudori has left the team.
With Nankya moving on to further her education at UCU, the sides met again in February last year, sharing spoils in Lubaga in the inaugural FWSL season that was suspended due to the pandemic.
This time, UCU led by overall league top scorer (91 goals in seven seasons) Hasifah Nassuna, will meet a UMHS side that has for two seasons been a hard nut to crack defensively but the solace is that the Lubaga side also struggles to score goals.
Kawempe braces for Ikwaput
Doves can also look to the in-form Fazila Ikwaput, who has marinated the tournament with goals, for inspiration. She has scored seven times, including twice against defending champions UCU.
She will, however, find a Kawempe side that has only conceded once in four games.
Without striker Juliet Nalukenge (sitting exams), Kawempe coach Moses Nkata can count on his defence marshalled by captain Aisha Nantongo to see them through.
Allen Nassazi has been an able replacement for Nalukenge, scoring thrice in the group games, but must show her intent in the business end of the season.
The record between the two sides also promises an evenly poised game as both have won once in three league meetings.
Meanwhile, She Corporate, Olila, Kampala Queens and Tooro Queens keep their place in the top-flight, while Isra Soccer Academy return to the second division alongside Makerere University.
Women’s Super League
SEMIFINALS - Today 9am & 12pm
Kawempe Muslim vs. Lady Doves
Lady Cardinals vs. Uganda Martyrs
FWSL group standings
GROUP 1 P W D L F A Pts
1.Kawempe Muslim 4 3 0 1 7 1 9
2.Uganda Martyrs 4 3 0 1 4 2 9
3.Kampala Queens 4 3 0 1 5 6 9
4.Tooro Queens 4 1 0 3 3 6 3
5.She Mak 4 0 0 4 1 5 0
GROUP 1 P W D L F A Pts
1.Lady Cardinals 4 3 0 1 6 2 9
2.Lady Doves 4 2 1 1 8 2 8
3.She Corporate 4 2 1 1 6 1 7
4.Olila High School 4 1 1 2 4 3 4
5.Isra Soccer Acad 4 0 0 4 0 16 0
Top two qualified for the semifinals