Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 3-0 SC Villa
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Vipers SC returned to winning ways as they defeated SC Villa 3-0 on move back atop the Uganda Premier League.
The Venoms fed off a blistering start as they netted twice in the opening ten minutes and eventually saw out the contest in a professional manner.
Dan Sserunkuma turned and fired from just inside the area after collecting from Karim Watambala to open the scoring.
Moments later, Sserunkuma who was starting his first home game since the league resumed, was the architect of the second as he released Disan Galiwango to set up Yunus Ssentamu who bundled in from close range.
The third would not come until the 80th minute when Paul Willa made a powerful run into the area before unleashing a fierce drive into the top left corner.
It was a perfect response for Fred Kajoba’s side who came into the game off a disappointing loss at Mbarara City FC on Saturday.
The three points see the Venoms move to 30 for the season, level with URA FC but with a better goal difference.
Villa stays in 8th spot with 19 points from their opening 13 games.
Vipers Send Warning To Rest Of The Competitors?
Vipers have topped the league for huge spells of the season so far but with the chasing pack not far behind, they slipped into third after Tuesday’s results that had seen URA beat Police FC to climb top.
But while they lost to Mbarara on match-day 12, the manner of their performance on Wednesday will have delivered a stark warning to their competitors for the title, that they will not lose focus even after a low point at anytime.
Much of that can be attributed to their attacking players especially those that were called upon at Kitende. And Sserunkuma, Ssentamu, Watambala and Ibrahim Orit were all huge problems for Villa.
While Orit will not grab the headlines, he was bright throughout the day with his running down the right and ability to ensure he initiates fast breaks for his side. His best chance to score came from almost unfamiliar circumstances as he rose highest to head wide Galiwango’s corner at the start of the second half.
It was his tenacity and energy that forced Villa into a mistake and enable Vipers win the ball high up the pitch, allowing Watambala to set up Sserunkuma for the opener.
Sserunkuma, who has found playing time hard to come by this season made a strong case for himself especially in the early exchanges, until he was taken off in the 59th minute.
The former UPL top scorer may be approaching the twilight of his career but once again exhibited enduring quality with well-timed runs and excellent hold up play, upfront.
The intelligence to re-gather after a lose first touch while receiving from Watambala and then turning to strike into the top corner was top notch while the pass to send Galiwango on his was in the build up to the second goal was timed to perfection and well weighted.
Watambala, has played several average games since returning from CHAN 2020 but gave a good account of himself especially in the first half.
He set up Sserunukuma for the first and consistently initiated attacks down the middle while also holding onto possession where necessary and winning several free kicks.
Meanwhile, Ssentamu’s good positioning and intelligence on the ball ensures he took his season’s tally to six goals for the season. He will feel he could have done more as he arrived late on several occasions as his mates tried to set him up from crosses.
With the attackers shinning, Willa could also not be left out as his goal late in the second half, sealed the deal on an almost perfect day for Kajoba’s side.
Villa Punished Big Time
Having lost just a single game since the league resumed, Villa will be angry with themselves for starting so poorly on Wednesday.
The opening goal did not arrive after consistent pressure from the home side nor a magnificent piece of individual brilliance.
Instead it can from the fact that their three-man defence could not handle the shortest player on the pitch as Emmanuel Wasswa allowed Sserunkuma time in the area to hold the ball before turning and shooting.
Moments later, Sserunkuma exploited the space between Joseph Nsubuga and Fred Agandu to send Galiwango onto the by-line to set up the unmarked Ssentamu for the second goal.
While Abdullah Salim was introduced at the start of the second half to boost creativity going forward alongside fellow substitutes Goffin Oyirwoth and Faizo Kazibwe, it proved a difficult afternoon to make telling impact.
The Jogoos inter-play in the final third was lacking and on several occasions, looked to cross for their forwards or waited for set-pieces to try and curb out openings.
After reverting to a back four, they looked more like the side that had won their past two visits to Kitende and Ronald Ssekiganda must feel he should have scored off a header from Salim’s cross, which went over.
However, any hope for a late surge was washed away after Nsubuga was shown a second yellow card after fouling Allan Kayiwa with 11 minutes to play.
In their next fixtures, Vipers are away to URA on Saturday while Villa hosts Onduparaka FC the following day.
How both teams started
Fabien Mutombora (GK), Paul Willa, Disan Galiwango, Rashid Toha, Halid Lwaliwa, Siraje Ssentamu, Karim Watambala, David Bagoole, Ibrahim Orit, Dan Sserunkuma, Yunus Ssentamu.
Meddie Kibirige (GK), Fred Agandu, Andrew Kiwanuka, Joseph Nsubuga, Emmanuel Wasswa, Amir Kakomo, Ronald Ssekiganda, Muhammad Ssenoga, Nicholas Kabonge, Ronald Olaki, Derrick Ndahiro.
The other games played on Wednesday
-Kitara FC 3-2 Wakiso Giants FC
-Bright Stars FC 0-2 BUL FC