Promotion favourites Maroons, Proline and Arua Hills stumbled in their bid to earn automatic qualification as the Fufa Big League returned yesterday following a two-week Stanbic Uganda Cup break.
Maroons fell 2-1 to Calvary while Proline were humbled 2-0 by Nyamityobora as Arua Hills escaped with a 1-1 draw.
In Bugembe, Hassan Zungu was a relieved man after Gaddafi overcame Bukedea’s Blacks Power 3-2 in an incident-ridden game.
Owning most of the possession throughout the first half, Innocent Maduuka surprised them catching the defenders napping in the 33rd minute before Mark Bamukyaye equalised in stoppage time of the first stanza from the spot.
A rag-tag defence that was short of ideas kept Gaddafi’s technical bench on tenterhooks because even when James Otim gave them the lead on 64 minutes, they soon squandered it.
Frank Mulimi scored the winner 12 minutes from time but Zungu is concerned ahead of Sunday’s visit to West Nile where they play Arua Hill at Barifa. “I am not comfortable with the team. The creativity is there and we are scoring but I am concerned with the rate at which we are leaking in goals. Next time we shall play better than that,” Zungu said after his first league game.
But his opposite, John Ongodia was unhappy with the officiating; twice, his players surrounded the referee Vincent Kavuma in protest.
“We were the better team but we lost because of circumstances beyond us,” Ongodia said.
There were mixed results for the big sides of the Elgon Group as controversy rocked the game between Mbale Heroes and Arua Hills was stopped for more than 10 minutes to calm the tempers with police coming in to cool the situation.
After Joel Male was fouled in the 71st minute, Caesar Okhuti scored a free kick moments later to neutralise Ibrahim Kibumba’s early strike in a televised game.
In Arua, Charles Ayiekoh was left to blame poor defending for the 2-1 surprise loss to Calvary to lose their unbeaten run.
“Losing is part of the game but Calvary had better character than us. We could not recover from the two early games. This is now history. I am planning for our next game against Mbale Heroes,” Ayiekoh said.
FUFA BIG LEAGUE
Gaddafi 3-2 Blacks Power
Calvary 2-1 Maroons
Mbale Heroes 1-1 Arua Hills
Luwero 2-1 Kigezi h.Boyz
Nyamityobora 2-0 Proline
Tooro 2-0 T & Terrazzo
Ndejje Univ. 1-0 Water
Paidha B.A vs. Gaddafi - Zombo
Blacks Power vs. Kataka - Bukedea
Maroons vs. Mbale Heroes - Luzira
Arua Hill vs. Calvary - Arua
Tooro United vs. Ndejje Uni - Fort Portal
Proline vs. Luwero United - Lugogo
Kigezi HB vs. Nyamityobora - Kabale
Water vs. Terrazo & Tiles - Kavumba