High stakes in dream final for Nec, Kitara

Nec skipper Cromwel Rwothomio. PHOTOS/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

The 50th Uganda Cup showdown will be arguably the biggest game in the both clubs' history. 

That Kitara will wrestle fellow newbies Nec in the Stanbic Uganda Cup final on Saturday at Wankulukuku sums up the unpredictable season this has been. 

The dust has settled since SC Villa took home the league trophy and now it is starting to dawn on Kitara and Nec that the opportunity is in their hands to reap the remaining diadem and a chance to feature in the Caf Confederation Cup. 

It sounds ridiculous that two unfancied teams are in the final and they have to keep saying it to themselves over and over again to make sense of it.

Yet they have energetically worked for it with Brian Ssenyondo's Royals having to eject Gaddafi, nine-time winners SC Villa and holders Vipers while Hussein Mbalangu guided Nec past 2022 winners Bul in the double legged semis. 

The 50th Uganda Cup showdown will be arguably the biggest game in the both clubs' history. 

Both sides shared a win a piece in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League as Kitara finished fourth and Nec sixth. 

"I don't think there is a lot of pressure in our camp because we have experienced players that have won the trophy before, " Nec skipper Marvin Kavuma revealed. 

For Kitara lively forward Denis Omedi who banged 15 goals in the league, winning the cup will serve him on a personal and club basis. 

"Nec has proved to be a tough team but we shall fight and win in order to pay back the fans because they have done so much for us. 

Founded in 2010, Kitara can claim to be more battle-hardened than Nec that rose in 2017 but both teams are almost similar squad wise. 

Nec defender Ibrahim Kiyemba (L) is challenged by Kitara forward Jude Semugabi. 

In fact, this final is the culmination of hard work, player investment and the will to prove doubters wrong. 

Whatever Omedi can offer Kitara offensive wise, Cromwell Rwothomio can do for Nec. 

The same can be said of netminders Benjamin Ochan (Nec) and Chris Kusiima (Kitara). 

In Paul Mucureezi, who has so far collected three Uganda cup trophies at KCCA and Vipers and will be playing in his sixth final, Kitara has a protagonist that can show them the path to success. 

Sadly, Ssenyondo's side is still grappling with an injury-hit defence, often deprived him of the reliable services of defenders Ibrahim Magandazi, Benjamin Nyakojo, Maxwell Owachigiu and Arthur Kigundu. 

For Nec fans that had believed that their team can't win anything, the odd-defying cup unbelievable run here is attributed to the unrelenting gaffer Mbalangu who has psyched up the players' mental fortitude. 

If Kitara overcome Nec, this will go down as one of the club's most successful seasons - and expect the bustling oil-rich Hoima district to party till dawn. 

In Nec's case, victory will galvanize their lofty ambitions to become a regular force in Ugandan football, and may be save Mbalangu from the rumoured pending axe. 

Stanbic Uganda Cup 

Today at 3pm 

Nec vs. Kitara, Wankulukuku