Vipers triumph on day SC Villa collapse

Vipers lift their sixth StarTimes Uganda Premier League title in 13 years, also completing a first successful defence of the trophy. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

What you need to know:

  • The Jogoos came into the final day needing only victory over URA to win their first league trophy in 19 years, but it is the Venoms that instead made their first title defence after turning Busoga inside out.

Vipers SC defended the StarTimes Uganda Premier League title for the first time in their history on a day SC Villa choked on the quest for their first in 19 years. 

Coach Alex Isabirye's Venoms rained five past a hapless Busoga United in the 5-0 thrashing at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday to clinch the 2022/23 title on goal difference. 

They ended the season level on 53 points with KCCA, who also thumped Soltilo Bright Stars by the same scoreline, with Rogers Mato scoring four goals, at the MTN Omondi Stadium.

But it is Vipers superior goal difference that proved - you rhymed it right - the difference.

At a packed-to-the-rafters Wankulukuku,  Najib Fesali's 61st minute goal for URA  - the only of the match - was the ultimate knock-out blow for Villa, who came into the final match needing only victory to win the title. 

As a result, the Jogoos dramatically fell from first to third spot, which is out of continental football qualification, on 52 points. 

Villa's failure at the ultimate moment was orchestrated by URA coach Sam Timbe, who was in charge of the last Villa side to win the league in 2004.

For Vipers and KCCA, the pair needed to win their respective games and hope misfortune reigned elsewhere. 

They both did, matching each others 5-0 scorelines in the routings of Busoga and Bright Stars. 

But Vipers superior goal difference of 27 won the day and championship against KCCA's 21.

Goals galore 

Vipers were so ready for this one, striker Abubaker Lawal opening the scoring in the 14th minute. 

And once Yunus Sentamu made it 2-0 with a superb half volley on 23 minutes, it was a matter of how many Busoga will carry back home to the east.

Lawal completed his brace nine minutes after halftime before Martin Kizza and Pilsner Man of the Match Bright Anukani rounded off a routine whipping to the ecstasy of the ecstatic home fans. 

A similar storyline was unfolding at Lugogo, only that this was a resigned one because whatever they did, they had to rely on Vipers not to win and Bill to remain indisposed. 

They went on with their business, anyway. Mato ran the show, here, Uganda Cranes new darling plundering four against a Bright Stars side that could have easily scored three in the first half. 

Noordin Bunjo and Ibrahim Kisinde both had glorious opportunities, with the latter hitting the crossbar, but KCCA just held on for Mato to begin his show. 

Mato's first came in the 48th minute, before adding others in the 61st, 88th and a final one from the penalty spot in injury time. Charles Lwanga scored one in between.

In Lira, Daniel Otim, Dickens Okwi and Robert Eseru scored for relegated Blacks Power in the 3-1 win over sorry Express. 

Allan Kayiwa netted Express' consolation to finish the season top scorer with 13 goals. Villa's Charles Bbaale ended with 12. 

In West Nile, Innocent Media scored the only goal as Arua Hill SC beat Wakiso Giants.

Relegated Onduparaka were also on song, beating UPDF at the soldiers' Bombo home 4-1.

Gasper Adriko, Rogers Okumu, Dominic Abongi and Boy Fazilino scored for Onduparaka while Jibril Nsimbe got UPDF's consolation.

StarTimes Uganda Premier League 


SC Villa 0 -1 URA 

Vipers SC 5- 0 Busoga United 

KCCA 5 - 0 Solito Bright Stars 

UPDF 1 - 4 Onduparaka 

Blacks Power 3 - 1 Express 

Maroons 0 - 0 Bul 

Arua Hill 1 - 0 Wakiso Giants