Games that delivered league title to Promised Land

Villa forward Hakim Kiwankuka scored the final goal of the season for the club. PHOTOS/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

Villa went into a more bullish mood towards the end of the game with forward Umar Lutalo restoring parity with a powerful shot just when he seemed to be having an off-colour outing.

There are seven pivotal matches this season that every SC Villa faithful will look back to as they commemorate the 17th StarTimes Uganda Premier League title delivered by Serbian Dusan Stojanovic. Herein, we elucidate  why they are monumental in their jinx breaking season.

SC Villa 2- 1 URA

The Joogos had not beaten URA in six years and were still hurting from last season's last day loss to the same side. At Wankulukuku on May 14, Robert Mukasa's  out-of-sorts URA took the lead through Bruno Bunyaga against run of play and many smelt a rat.

Villa went into a more bullish mood towards the end of the game with forward Umar Lutalo restoring parity with a powerful shot just when he seemed to be having an off-colour outing.

With two minutes left on the clock, versatile defensive cog and skipper Kenneth Semakula took matters in his strides by launching a ferocious belter from distance to reclaim Villa’s lead as Wankulukuku turned into a fiesta.

SC Villa 3-2 Wakiso Giants

With the finishing tape in sight, Villa exuded might by fighting from two goals down to overcome a resurgent Wakiso Giants side 3-2. The win showed Stojanovic's side had a 'Plan B' and 'Plan C' in store in case 'Plan A' fails to work out.

When Samson Kigozi and Hassan Ssenyonjo put the Purple Sharks into a deserved two-goal lead, the fainthearted fans started fearing for the worst before Jogoos gallantly hit back thrice through Ronald Ssekiganda, Umar Lutalo and Regan Mpadde.

The tension-filled match helped to show that goal taps had finally opened for the would-be champions.

Bul 0-1 SC Villa

On March 15, Villa broke another damning hoodoo when they beat closest challengers Bul 1-0 which they had failed to achieve in almost five attempts. 

For starters, Villa was without core players Patrick Kakande, Cyrus Kibande, Hakim Mutebi and Umar Lutalo (who were with Hippos in Ghana for All African games) and braved on for close to 30 minutes playing with a man down.

Defender Garvin Kizito had been red carded after handling the ball in the forbidden area but Villa, that had scored earlier through Douglas Owori, were lucky that Bul midfielder Ibrahim Kazindula missed the resultant penalty.

Fans have found a reason to party after 20 years. 

SC Villa 1-0 Express

Nothing gives Villa fans genuine joy than accruing a season double over longtime nemesis Express. 

The second round  1-0 win however tasted sweeter for the Jogoos as it compounded the Red Eagles' woes, kept them within touching distance with the leading pack and won them the Wankulukuku bragging rights.

Express, embracing their third coach of the season (Baker Mbowa), looked inferior as Charles Lwanga's strike gave the Jogoos maximum points and sent out a stern statement to other challengers that they mean business.

Kitara 1-1 SC Villa

Still reeling from the ignomy of losing to newbies Kitara at home on the opening day of the season, Villa arrived in Masindi seeking vengeance over Brian Ssenyondo's side that had also audaciously declared title intentions.

In a cagey match that both sides didn't want to lose, Jude Ssemugabi thought he had scored the winner for Kitara in the 55th minute before magical Kakande netted a goal-of-the-season contender in the 88th minute to restore parity.

Certainly Villa had salvaged some pride and the belief to fight on skyrocketed henceforth.

Vipers 1-1 SC Villa

Early on Stojanovic planned to make it known to deposed kings Vipers that they were up for their crown. 

The Jogoos were the better side as they drew 1-1 with Vipers at the St Mary's Stadium-Kitende in October last year and would have run away with maximum points had Venoms defender Paul Mbowa not cancelled out Garvin Kizito's early strike for the visitors.

Villa had Vipers' number this term to the point that even in the reverse fixture at Wankulukuku that ended 0-0, it was the hosts in cruise control.

Nec 0-2 SC Villa

There were understable tremors as Villa took on Hussein Mbalangu's Nec on the last day of the season at Lugogo justified by the delayed goals. 

Villa had won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Wankulukuku but faced a more rejuvenated Nec side that had got scalps of big teams like KCCA, Kitara, Vipers and URA at their fortress.

To prove their title worthiness, Villa dug deep to win 2-0 with goals from Charles Lwanga and Hakim Kiwanuka to send their fans into a delirium and frantic celebrations that nearly brought the city to a standstill on Saturday.