Sunday presents the biggest game in Ugandan club football lately as the most successful sides of recent times meet in an early title when KCCA visit Vipers at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende. The pair shared eight StarTImes Uganda Premier League titles in eight years before that duopoly was broken by Express last season.
Sensing that their thrones are being threatened, the duo are responding the only way they know - setting the pace in the early stages of the season. Yesterday, Vipers overcame a plucky Gadaffi 3-1 away the Gadaffi Arena in Jinja, a scoreline that KCCA marched at home against Bul to stay six points clear at the top of the log with 25% of the league now complete.
KCCA top the standings with 22 points while Vipers are on 16 with a game in hand on the leaders which makes for Sunday’s games worth much more.
KCCA, meanwhile, go into Sunday’s game as the in-form team in the league and with the only unbeaten record having won seven of eight games thus far.
The latest victory was delivered by an improved second half performance that was precipitated by a change in formation by coach Morley Byekwaso.
“The players struggled to apply the formation we initially used but improved after we made changes,” admitted Byekwaso after the game.
They were already a goal ahead by the time the second half kicked off with Innocent Wafula having given them the lead in first half stoppage time.
Having won possession high up the pitch, Wafula who had ironically been one of the players who struggled in his right wingback role unleashed a thunderbolt that gave visiting goalkeeper Saidi Keni no chance.
And despite their improvement, Bul could have drawn level when they were awarded a penalty when referee Shamirah Nabadda spotted a foul on substitute Joseph Semujju.
His subsequent kick sent high and wide, instead troubled shoppers at the nearby Lugogo mall rather than KCCA goalkeeper Derrick Ochan.
They were then further punished when substitute Charles Lwanga run onto an Ahsraf Mugume pass on the break.
He then waltzed past defender Douglas Muganga before wrong-footing Keni with a low left footed finish for his third goal of the season.
Striker Davis Kasirye then scored the third and his fifth of the campaign with a near post side-footed finish from a Herbert Achai cross before Musa Esenu scored Bul’s consolation.
In Jinja, Militon Karisa produced a man of the match performance with a brace as Vipers stung Gaddafi 3-1 at the Gaddafi Arena.
The hosts had threatened early when James Otim met an inviting cross from Hassan Musana but his header bounced off the woodwork with Fabian Mutombora well beaten.
Vipers retaliated by increasing speed and dominating the midfield. Karisa broke the deadlock after the half-hour mark running through to meet a long ball before looping over Ronald Mutebi who was slow to come off his line.
Jamaldine Buchochera headed the soldier boys level in the 38th through a Musana freekick but Karisa pounced on another defensive lapse to strike in the second. Bright Anukani put the match beyond Gaddafi with a well-taken freekick with only two minutes left to end the first half.
“This is a good motivation for me and the team as we return to winning ways,” Karisa who was named best player of the match said. “This is just the beginning, we shall continue pushing for the results.”
Gaddafi head coach Peter Onen blamed the loss partly to defensive lapse in the first half and missing Brian Kalumba who is cap-tied since he is on loan from the Venoms and Faisal Muwawu who is injured.
“That [missing key players] could be another cause but we prepare all players,” Onen noted.