Villains become heroes to end SC Villa drought

Lwanga reminisces after missing a goal-scoring opportunity. PHOTOS/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

Villa’s tally 56 points was one better than Bul and Vipers managed over the 29-game season.  

Umar Lutalo swung in one of his better crosses. Charles Lwanga has never headed the ball that well.  

Hakim Kiwanuka showed that he can actually finish when he latched on to Jonah Patrick Kakande’s pass to slot the ball under a helpless Benjamin Ochan. 

Lwanga and Kiwanuka are an embodiment of SC Villa’s well-documented season-long wastefulness. All that will be forgotten, for now. 

Their second half goals delivered a 2-0 victory and with it a first StarTimes Uganda Premier League title in two decades. 

Villa’s tally of 57 points was one better than Bul and Vipers managed over the 29-game season.  Kitara finished fourth on 54. 

Villa took their league record haul of titles to 17, four more than KCCA who are their nearest challengers in filling a trophy cabinet. Express have seven and Vipers six. 

SC Villa forward Umar Lutalo delivered the perfect cross.  

Bul walloped Busoga United 3-0 in Njeru while Vipers trounced Mbaarara City 4-1 at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende to cap a thrilling league finale. 

As a consequence of that, Busoga were relegated to the BetPawa Fufa Big League along with Gadaffi, beaten 3-0 at Kitara. UPDF survived after edging Wakiso Giants 1-0 away from home. 

For the second successive year, the league title went down to the final day but unlike last year when Villa choked, they found a way this time. 

After a poor first half, Lwanga, a villain for most of the season, headed in Umar Lutalo’s sumptuous cross on 67 minutes to ease the tension. 

In the 75th minute, Kiwanuka ran on to a through to slot the ball under Nec goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan for a victory that will not be forgotten. 

Serbian coach Dusan Stojanovic deserves all the plaudits for galvanizing a team that lacked experience and lost arguably their best two players at the start of the season. 

The exits of Gift Fred and Charles Bbaale didn’t point to a team on an upward trajectory until Stojanovic made it the most entertaining in the league. 

StarTimes Uganda Premier League


Nec 0-2 SC Villa

Vipers 4-1 Mbarara City

Busoga United 0-3 Bul

Kitara 3-0 Gadaffi

Wakiso Giants 0-1 UPDF

Maroons 1-1 KCCA

URA 1-1 Bright Stars

League winners

1968/1969: Prisons (now Maroons)

1969: Prisons

1970: Coffee United

1971: Simba

1974: Express

1975: Express

1976: KCC (now KCCA)

1977: KCC

1978: Simba

1979: Uganda Commercial Bank

1980: Nile Breweries

1981: KCC

1982: SC Villa

1983: KCC

1984: SC Villa

1985: KCC

1986: SC Villa

1987: SC Villa

1988: SC Villa

1989: SC Villa

1990: SC Villa

1991: KCC

1992: SC Villa

1993: Express

1994: SC Villa

1995: Express

1996: Express

1997: KCC

1998: SC Villa

1999: SC Villa

2000: SC Villa

2001: SC Villa

2002: SC Villa

2002/2003: SC Villa

2004: SC Villa

2005: Police

2006: URA

2006/2007: URA

2007/2008: KCC

2008/2009: URA

2009/2010: Bunamwaya (now Vipers)

2010/2011: URA

2011/2012: Express

2012/2013: KCC

2013/2014: KCC

2014/2015: Vipers

2015/2016: KCCA

2016/2017: KCCA

2017/2018: Vipers

2018/2019: KCCA

2019/2020: Vipers

2020/2021: Express

2021/2022: Vipers

2022/2023: Vipers

2023/24: SC Villa