Stojanovic moulding Jogoos into a title chasing machine

SC Villa winger Hakim Kiwanuka falls to the floor against Mbarara City before scoring the winner. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

Villa’s captivating form stems all the way back to the first round when Stojanovic zeroed in on his best eleven and made Wankulukuku a fortress many now dread to visit. 

Dusan Stonanovic's success that is rising to a crescendo at Villa Park has gone under the radar a little bit. 

However, with more than eight months in the SC Villa dugout now, it is clear that the club's tangible progress is not just a short burst of form.

Since arriving in June last year, many viewed the reserved Serbia  as a protege of Micho Sredojevic (former Uganda Cranes and SC Villa coach) having worked with his compatriot at Zamalek and Zambia and moved around in the same car in Kampala. 

The comparisons stop at that, because Stojanovic has distinctly cultivated an attacking, competitive and attractive brand of football at the 16-time winners as their title chances continue to swell. 

“I want to thank everyone who made my arrival possible. I know SC Villa because of their long glory and tradition. 

“The past coaches did a good job but were unlucky in the last job. We need to upgrade and recognise that and we want to keep the ongoing process up. I have an obligation to continue on that path which brought a lot of joy to the villa family, " Stojanovic pledged at his unveiling. 

Few teams in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League dominate Mbarara City as SC Villa did on Saturday at Wankulukuku as they won 2-1 to climb to third in the table with 39 points from 20 matches. 

A crisp free kick by Umar Lutalo and a poacher's finish by substitute Hakim Kiwanuka hurled Villa to within five points of table leaders Kitara and yet still have two games in hand. 

Villa’s captivating form stems all the way back to the first round when Stojanovic zeroed in on his best eleven and made Wankulukuku a fortress many now dread to visit. 

Even when Mbarara City forward Henry Kitegenyi equalized after he was gifted by custodian Jean Brady Wokorack, the Jogoos had the will to win and match winners like Patrick Kakande, Kiwanuka and Lutalo connived to accrue maximum points. 

Interestingly, Stojanovic has achieved that remarkable turnaround with basically rookies and a few battles hardened warriors who have now gained belief that the shot at the league title is possible. 

Experimenting with a 4-3-2-1 system when out of possession and turning to a 4-3-3 when in attack, Villa has conceded the least number of goals although their 28-goal tally can still improve. 

Without doubt Stojanovic has presented himself as an an elite coach who can change Villa from pretenders to serious title challengers if the players continue to buy into his tactics.

 Villa fans still remember how their last campaign went off the rails after the final day loss to URA and an earlier two-point loss for hooliganism. 

The four-way title race that includes Kitara, Vipers, Bul and Villa remains an unpredictable affair but whatever happens, the Jogoos have drawn the line in the sand. 

Vipers gain lost ground

Even without head coach Livingstone Mbabazi, holders Vipers subjected hosts URA to a 2-0 loss at Lugogo to move to fourth place in the table with 38 points from 20 matches. 

Aware that table leaders Kitara had squandered an opportunity to pull away as they drew goalless with second-placed Bul on Good Friday, a much changed Vipers under Richard Wasswa played with insatiable hunger and zeal. 

Moses Waiswa and Karim Watambala scored in each half as Vipers beat URA 2-0 at Lugogo.

Waiswa opened the scoring in the third minute with a well crafted goal before substitute Watambala sealed the victory with a free kick in the 89th minute.

StarTimes Uganda Premier League


Wakiso Giants 1-0 NEC

Kitara 0-0 Bul

SC Villa 2-1 Mbarara City

URA 0-2 Vipers