Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 3-2 Police FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Vipers SC came from 2-1 down to overcome Police FC on Friday in a game that was marred by a controversial red card for the visitors.
With the Cops in the lead and looking likely to head into the break on top, their goal keeper Derrick Ochan was sent off for handling the ball outside the area although replays portrayed otherwise as he looked to have touched the ball while still in his box.
Before the incident, Ibrahim Orit had put Vipers ahead before goals from Eric Ssenjobe and Brian Mululi had flipped the game on its head.
Orit completed his brace in the second half and substitute Ceaser Manzoki netted, what would prove to be the winning goal, moments after coming on.
The result sees Vipers reclaim top spot with 18 points from 8 games while Police now drop to second on the log, two points adrift of the Venoms.
Advantaged Venoms fight back
Having won just a single game in their last three outings, Vipers came into Friday’s encounter on the hunt for three points.
They however had to wait for 21 minutes to find the break through.
Halid Lwaliwa intercepted Mululi’s intended pass before passing to Galiwango who crossed for Orit to riffle home into the right-hand corner.
However, Police equalized three minutes later off Kimera’s corner which Bashir Ssekagya probably should have claimed.
The Venoms had a chance to regain their lead instantly but David Bagoole shot weakly at Ochan after he beat the visitor’s off-side trap.
Galiwango was causing Police trouble at the other end but was key to the visitors securing a second as he was robbed near the area before the combination of Odong and Mululi once again popped up with the goods with the latter netting his third in as many games.
Knowing that his team had a one-man advantage, Fred Kajoba sent on Paul Mucurezi to replace Bagoole and the move paid off four minutes after the restart.
After Paul Will a was fouled outside the area, Mucurezi sent a delicious cross into the area and it was Orit who connected and headed it into the back of the net for 2-2.
Ssentamu could have put the Venoms ahead, once again, but he blazed over while one-on-one with substitute goalkeeper Thomas Ikara.
With 14 minutes to play, Manzoki who had replaced Shaban Mohammad moments earlier, scored Vipers’ third goal after collecting from Paul Willa and shooting past Ikara and into the back of the net.
Police can’t hold on with 10 men
The Cops are one of the most in-form sides in the division and it is evident from their league position as they came into the game top of the pile.
Having won both of their previous two encounters, they were confident of a positive result against the defending champions.
After looking second best in the early exchanges they fell behind after Ssenjobe failed to track Orit who arrived late and was isolated in the box to open the scoring.
Having netted in all but one of their games this season, it was just a case of when and not if they could find the back of the net.
Ssenjobe would then be the unlikely source of the first goal as he rose highest to neatly head in Ruben Kimera’s delivery from a corner.
Police are known to press high up the pitch and the tactic worked in the build up to the second as Muwadda Mawejje robbed Galiwango close to the area, played in Johnson Odong who in-turn set up Mululi to poke past the helpless Ssekagya.
With Abdallah Mubiru’s side looking to be in control, disaster struck in the name of Ochan.
The former Venoms custodian rushed off his line to stop Vipers from getting a chance and handled the ball. The linesman signalled for a foul, Ochan was judged to have handled the ball outside his area and as a consequence, sent for an early shower.
It was always going to be hard for them to try and preserve their lead and on 49 minutes, Orit completed his brace off a header before Manzoki secured the points for the Venoms with 14 minutes to play.
In the final exchanges, Police never really looked like levelling matters and ended up on the losing side, there second loss of the season
In their next games, Vipers host BUL FC on Tuesday while Police entertains Onduparaka FC at Lugogo the following day.
How both teams started
Bashir Ssekagya (GK), Paul Willa, Disan Galiwango, Halid Lwaliwa (c), Bashir Asiku, Siraje Ssentamu, Karim Watambala, Ibrahim Orit, David Bagoole, Shaban Mohammad, Yunus Ssentamu.
Derrick Ochen(GK), Denis Rukundo, Eric Ssenjobe, Muhamood Hassan, Henry Katongole, Tonny Mawejje (c), Yusuf Ssozi, Johnson Odongo, Muwadda Mawejje, Ruben Kimera, Brian Mululi.