Charles Lukwago, the one-time indispensable StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) goalkeeper, has seen a sharp decline in form over the last few months.
The KCCA custodian’s shifts have lately been highly irregular to prompt questions whether he is being pushed enough by rookie deputies Ali Mwirusi and Hassan Matovu. It is an old truism that you can’t win silverware with an undependable goalkeeper and Lukwago produced further evidence of that brutal reality as KCCA surrendered a 1-0 lead against Express at Lugogo to bow out of the Uganda Cup with a 1-1 aggregate this month.
The mistakes of one man are never solely to blame for a defeat but Lukwago’s fallibility was put to test when he enigmatically gifted the Red Eagles with a penalty - against the run of play.
KCCA Morley Byekwaso rebuked Lukwago for letting down the team as his predecessor Mike Mutebi had done in February last year when another costly error against Express by Lukwago hurt the club’s title ambitions.
“The goalkeeping mistake by our skipper let us down but we had put up a spirited fight,” Byekwaso lamented as KCCA stared at a consecutive empty season.
Though he can be a stonewall shot-stopper on his day producing reflexes and acting as a ball playing custodian, it is his inconsistence that has raised eyebrows.
Some sources at Lugogo intimate that he is no longer the same self-assured player he was under goalkeeping coach David Kiwanuka (now at Express). The switch from a vibrant Kiwanuka to a more conservative goalkeeping coach (Moses Oloya) might have affected his game approach. KCCA, under transition, has so far let in 20 goals in 26 matches ahead of today’s visit to Masindi to face already relegated Kitara.
Word is rife that Byekwaso, reportedly on the brink of getting a two-year permanent contract, is pulling all strings to ship in Kyetume and Uganda Cranes enterprising custodian Joel Mutakubwa.
Interestingly, Lukwago has mastered 12 clean sheets, one behind overall leader (Mathias Muwanga, Express) but as KCCA dismal season has panned out, he can only settle for second best, With Lukwago going through one of the worst spells since dislodging Benjamin Ochan 2018, the consistent slip-ups also threaten his national team chances with rookies like Bright Stars Simon Tamale popping up.