Express grit teeth to overcome struggling Kitara FC to go top of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League log.
In what was a winnable fixture on paper, the Red Eagles needed a Frank Kalanda 75th minute penalty to edge a resolute and unwavering Kitara side at Kavumba.
Referee Asadu Semere pointed to the spot after Patrick Mugume was judged to have handled the ball in the forbidden area.
The 1-0 closely contested victory sends Express top of the log with 25 points, just one above Vipers who face Bright Stars on Wednesday at Kitende.
Express lacked pace and aggressiveness but showed character to pick maximum points on the day many things didn’t go right.
Kitara FC remain rooted on the bottom with just one point after 11 games.
Express Stroll Despite Shoddy Show
If the Red Eagles are winning their first title since 2011/12, this is one of those results they will look back to.
They missed the creativity of Godfrey Lwesibawa and were clueless in front of goal right from the first whistle.
To rub more salt in the wound, their main striker George Ssenkaaba was stretchered off hurt for Kalanda.
They failed to knit back to back passes on many occasions and they looked odourless in the middle of the park.
Bbosa found the solution before the end of the first stanza after his side failed any consistent rhythm, taking off Ibrahim Kayiwa pint-sized Ivan Mayanja.
Kambale curled wide from the freekick before their best chance fell to Charles Musiige who rounded Peter Lwebuga but skied his effort.
Express FC, backed by the travelling fans, found their breakthrough from the spot, and Kambale calmly send former Express goalie Emmanuel Opio the wrong side.
Kambale had a chance to give the scoreline a decent look but his header took an awkward bounce after a well weighed cross from Kalanda.
Ivan Mayanja missed a couple of chances, skewing the best opportunity wide from close range.
Kitara Wait Continues…
Kitara’s hard work is yet to reflect on the table, as their wait for their second point since drawing their league opener continues.
They marched Express from the word go, just like it was against Vipers before succumbing to a painful loss.
Vincent Kasoki went free on goal, benefiting from Juuko blunder, but his effort was to weak and collected by Express goalkeeper Muwanga.
Opio kept them in the game when he made a reflex save to deny Kambale after good build up play that involved Muzamir Mutyaba.
Pius Mbidde, another former Express player, lacked consistency on the day before he was taken off down the stretch.
Kitara will surely need a miralcle to beat the drop this season, but with the fact that they will be returning in Masindi in the second round, gives them some hope.
What Next – Kitara visit MYDA while Express will be at Betway Muteesa II Stadium to face Busoga.
Kitara XI – Emmanuel Opio, Duncan Semakula, Rogers Lwebuga, Patrick Mugume, Maxwell Owechkgui, Pius Mbidde, Dan Ekoyu, Ronald Kyamanywa, Vincent Kasoki, Edson Agondeze, Zakayo Kizito
Express XI – Mathias Muwanga, Enock Walusimbi, Arthur Kiggundu, Murushid Juuko, Isa Lumu, Mahad Yaya Kakooza, Abel Eturude, Ibrahim Kayiwa, Charles Musiige, Eric Kambale, George Ssenkaaba