Makumbi magic downs Ndejje, faces Kitara in playoff final

Tuesday October 20 2020

One to go. Kiboga Young players hurdle together to celebrate. PHOTO | JOHN BATANUDDE

By Elvis Senono

Kitara’s quest for top topflight league status will be tested by promotion expert Richard Makumbi who guided Kiboga Young to a 3-1 win over Ndejje University.
The two teams will face off in the Big League promotional playoff final on Wednesday at Fufa Technical Centre in Njeru to decide the third and final qualification slot to the Uganda Premier League for next season.
Kitara were the first to book their place in the final, edging Kataka 7-6 in a post match penalty shootout after the two teams played out a largely uneventful goalless draw in regulation time.
In the spot kicks, Peter Lomolo and Yusuf Ezama missed for Kitara and Kataka, respectively, before Jamil Kiyemba dived low to his right to thwart Kataka captain Peter Lusimbula’s decisive kick.
Second time lucky?
Kitara will now hope to make it at the second attempt after losing to Paidha Black Angels in the 2018 final.
“It was a difficult game because Kataka had trained for a longer period than us. It is not in our culture to play out goalless draws but we know playing well comes with better preparations,” Kitara coach Mark Twinamasiko said after the game.
His team will now have to improve markedly from that semifinal performance against a side coached by Makumbi who boasts a stellar record of guiding no less than eight teams to top flight league status as a coach.
After a slow start in which they trailed to a Sula Tumusiime penalty.
They then rallied back with Captain Jamaldine Buchochera, Brian Olega and Sula Wambede getting the goals for Kiboga, who were bought off by former top-flight regulars and are expected to be renamed Mbale Heroes.
Both games played without fans and with journalists denied access  at the Njeru tehcnical centre marked the return of competive football since sport was halted in March to help curb the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic.