Vipers defeat leaves league finely poised

Monday March 08 2021
soccer02pix

Bullet. Anaku piles a bullet through the UPDF defence for one of his goals on Friday. PHOTO | EDDIE CHICCO

By Denis Bbosa
By Felix Ainebyoona

The StarTimes Uganda Premier League table top is painted red with Express at the summit, a point ahead of Vipers who finally crumbled after weeks of cat and mouse chase at the top.

The Red Eagles deflated Busoga United 1-0 at Wankulukuku on Friday and Vipers lost by the similar scoreline against Mbarara City at Kakyeka a day later.

Wasswa Bbosa’s unbeaten side have now raked in 28 points from 12 matches while the Venoms are tied on 27 points with URA that subjected Kyetume to a 2-0 tax assessment in Ndejje.

At Wankulukuku, Frank Kalanda scored from 12 yards for the second time in three days after Busoga United goalkeeper Rogers Omedwa had brought down Eric Kambale in the area. 

The hard-fought victory came at a prize as left-back Arthur Kiggundu and midfielder Charles Musiige headed to the surgeon’s table, joining striker George Ssenkaaba, who is out for six weeks.

“The time between games is too little for recovery. The league managers should look into it because the players are also humans,” Bbosa fumed.

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Tough times ahead for Vipers

Deemed surplus to requirements at Kitende after a brief stint, Mbarara City forward Henry Kitegenyi literally turned the tables on his former pay masters.

Kitegenyi outpaced Vipers defender Bashir Asiku to slot home the solitary goal at Kakyeka Stadium watched by former coach Livingstone Mbabazi.

Mbabazi’s presence galvanised speculations that he could return to lead the Ankole Lions, who are currently under acting head coach Sadick Ssempigi.

Mbabazi was last week axed by Kyetume to become the second coach to suffer the fate after the man he is rumoured to be on the verge of replacing – Brian Ssenyondo.

However, Ssempigi would not let the speculations dampen the mood.

“I’m doing my job. It is upon the management and I am not the right person to talk about that. When management is not satisfied with my service, they can come in with another person but as per now I am focused on doing it so I am not taken up by that,’’ he said.

Kitegenyi said he had prayed to score against his former side.

“It’s not that I only came to score against Vipers but when you score against a team that thought you aren‘t good enough, it’s breathtaking,” Kitegenyi said.

Vipers head coach Fred Kajoba admitted his Venoms found it hard to cope with Mbarara City’s playing style. 

“We played the way we had to but I think we played with a team that does not know what they play but they have won and that is football,’’ he said.

The defeat means Kajoba cannot afford any more slip-up in the Venoms’ last three definitive games of the first round as they play URA, SC Villa and KCCA in quick succession.

Six-star KCCA close in

Goals rained at Lugogo as Mike Mutebi’s KCCA continued the chase with a 6-1 thumping of UPDF.

Sadat Anaku and Charles Lwanga scored a twice each with Ashraf Mugume and an own goal from Bright Vuni completing the siege.

Like a three volley salute, UPDF had to pick their loss their sixth from 12 games but having not drawn a game.

UPL 2020-21 standing

Team P W D L F A Pts

1.Express 12 8 4 0 21 6 28

2.Vipers 12 8 3 1 28 12 27

3.URA 12 8 3 1 17 8 27

4.Police 12 7 3 2 28 12 24

5.KCCA 12 7 2 3 36 10 23

6.SC Villa 12 5 4 3 18 14 19

7.UPDF 12 6 0 6 15 15 18

8.Onduparaka 12 5 3 4 16 22 18

9.Wakiso Giants 12 2 9 1 13 14 15

10.Bright Stars 12 3 5 4 20 16 14

11.Bul 12 4 1 7 13 18 13

12.Mbarara City 12 3 4 5 11 17 13

13.Kyetume 12 2 5 5 13 20 11

14.Busoga United 12 0 5 7 8 24 5

15.Myda 12 0 3 9 16 40 3

16.Kitara 12 0 2 10 10 35 2

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