How Golola made the difference at Tooro Utd

A master’s toss. Tooro United players hoist Golola as they celebrate a return to UPL on Sunday. PHOTO/J. Batanudde

The Fufa Big League is a league full of thrills and spills. The 2020/21 season was shorter but not different, especially that the teams played as few as 14 games the whole season. 
Eighty-three wins and 58 draws were registered in the 112 games that were played with a total of 259 (117 in Elgon and 142 in Rwenzori).
Arua Hill measured up to their preseason hype by sealing a direct promotion to the StarTimes Uganda Premier League with a thumping 4-0 win over Paidha Black Angels in a lopsided West Nile derby in the final game of the season. 
The win meant that the team was the only unbeaten side in the division.

“Eight months ago, we started a journey. Stage one of the journey has been achieved in the first season. Our target was to achieve promotion within two seasons,” Arua Hill chairman and building and construction magnate Jaffer Joel A’ita said. 
The team scored the second-highest number of goals – 25 – had the meanest defence that conceded only seven goals, keeping nine clean sheets.
“We prepared well for the season. We knew that it was not going to be easy but we remained focused and determined,” coach Hussein Mbalangu said.

Golola the difference
While superlatives continue to drop on Arua Hills, Tooro United, who also sealed promotion on the final day, have coach Edward Golola to thank. 
The side had to calm down Marvin Oshaba’s nerves to convert a 27th-minute penalty against Kigezi HomeBoyz. 
The Fort Portal-based side fluffed two previous chances to earn a direct ticket with games to spare – against Ndejje University and Luweero United in a Rwenzori group that was considered easier of the two.

“It’s not true that our group was easier, there’s nothing like that in football,” Golola’s assistant Deman ‘Denol’ Kizito said. 
“We had some challenges throughout the season, especially overhauling the whole playing unit, but what helped is that we had coach Golola. He has been key in organising the team, keeping it as a unit and tactically during games. 
“The management led by the chairperson Alice Namatovu also kept the team moving with logistics and other responsibilities.”

The third and final top-flight promotion slot will be contested in the playoffs at a date yet to be determined by Fufa. Gaddafi, who finished second in Elgon group, play Nyamityobora in the first semifinal as Bukedea’s Blacks Power take on Proline. 
Arua Hill will take on Tooro United in the Big League final to determine the ultimate champion of the second tier league.
Mbale Heroes, Paidha Black Angels, Kigezi Homeboyz and Terrazo and Tiles have been flushed to the regional leagues.


Top scorers
Clinton Kamugisha    13
Michael Siwu    9
Marvin Oshaba    9
Best defence
Arua Hill    7
Worst defence
Paidha Black Angels    31
Best attack
Proline    27
Most clean sheets
Arua Hills    8
Most draws
Ndejje University    8
Most wins 
Tooro, Proline    9
Most losses
Paidha Black Angels    11


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