Wednesday, March 17
*Bright Stars 1-2 Villa
*Mbarara City 1-1 BUL
*Onduparaka FC 0-3 URA SC
*Vipers 1-0 KCCA
Peter Magambo’s own goal was the difference as Vipers overcame rivals KCCA in a pulsating StarTimes Uganda Premier League game at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
The defender sliced into his own net a tameable cross from Dissan Galiwango to gift Vipers a deserved lead before halftime.
The goal didn’t bulge the net as Magambo thought he had retrieved it before crossing the line but the linesman Gilbert Ngyendo Tumuheirwe was well positioned and convinced as he quickly signaled the goal for referee Ali Sabila to point to the centre line.
The visitors were poor in the first stanza and couldn’t find a leveller despite an improved second half that saw Brian Aheebwa and Sadat Anaku come closest.
Vipers were dominant and could have won by a better margin on the day they got their first win against KCCA after their sixth attempt.
Vipers’ last win against KCCA came in 2018 when they came from down to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Milton Karisa (2) and Erisa Ssekisambu, as Shab Mohammed scored a brace for KCCA at Kitende.
Vipers, who have won all eight matches at home this season, end the first round in second place with 33 points while KCCA FC in fourth with 27.
Vipers Hold On For Needed Win
It was a game that provided nothing to admire despite the magnitude of the contest and all the buildup and banter on social media.
The only talking point will be that Magambo own goal. Did the ball cross the line? Even the video replays from Sanyuka TV were not clear enough to provide a final answer.
Fred Kajoba needed the win more after falling 2-1 against league leaders and strong title contender URA FC in their previous game.
They made their intentions known early with relentless attacks, and could have taken a lead when Yunus Ssentamu headed wide Dissan Galiwango’s cross.
Galiwango proved handful for Samson Kigozi who was used as a right wingback; and it was not a surprise when he got the better of him thanks to a flick from Yunus Ssentamu for Galiwango to squeeze a cross that Magambo connected into his own net.
Earlier, Manzoki failed to connect Galiwango’s teasing cross while goalkeeper Charles Lukwago denied Watambala at close range after reckless defending from Kato who allowed Manzoki to deliver a low cross.
Substitute Paul Mucureezi would have doubled the lead late in the game but fluffed the effort over the bar off Ibrahim Orit assist.
Fred Kajoba will be convinced by his team’s performance and with three points below URA, he will be positive ahead of the second round.
Mike Mutebi Tactics Leave A Lot To Be Desired
Coach Mike Mutebi will take the big blame for today’s poor show at Kitende, just like the other three other losses the club has suffered during the first round.
He played 3-5-1 with Bright Anukani used on the left flank, and struggled until the second half when Vipers visibly put the foot off the peddle, and later, he sacrificed Gift Ali midway through the second half.
The midfield was slow in the buildup and looked complacent from the word go as Vipwrs youngster Karim Watambala controlled the game’s tempo and drove his side forward.
Going for a three-man defence – Samuel Kato, Peter Magambo and Herbert Achai was a questionable option, as Denis Iguma was once again left on the bench.
The defence struggled to handle Vipers armoury and gave away many set-pieces in the opening minutes.
It was clear that Magambo’s own goal was an outcome of a defence that never communicated with their own keeper – Lukwago was well prepared and positioned to collect the cross before an onrushing Magambo poked his foot onto the ball.
The gaffer failed to defend his tactics in the press conference when confronted by the press.
He could have scrapped a point if Anaku connected his volley when Aheebwa headed in his way.
Kigozi, clearly unmarked at the far post, headed wide off Anukani chip.
Kigozi also was given time and space outside the box but his shot went wide of Mutombora’s goal.
The game revealed a lot of work for Mutebi but his other worry will be the Charles Lwanga injury who was stretchered off for Aheebwa in the first half.
The result means that KCCA FC has not beaten any of their close title contender – They collected a late point off Express, drew with Police and lost to URA and Villa before today’s loss.
Pilsner Player of the Match – Karim Watambala (Vipers)
Vipers XI – Fabien Mutombora, Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Livingston Mulondo, Musa Ssali, Karim Watambala, Yunus Ssentamu, Dissan Galiwango, Ibrahim Orit, Caesar Manzoki, Daniel Sserunkuma
Substitutes – Bashir Ssekagya, Bashir Asiku, David Bagoole, Allan Kayiwa, Paul Mucureezi, Richard Basangwa, Shaban Muhammad
KCCA FC XI – Charles Lukwago, Samuel Kato, Peter Magambo, Herbert Achai, Samson Kigozi, Ashraf Mugume, Gift Ali, Steven Sserwadda, Bright Anukani, Charles Lwanga, Sadat Anaku.
Substitutes – Ali Mwirusi, Denis Iguma, Hassan Musana, Keziron Kizito, Brian Aheebwa.
*Centre Referee – Ali Sabilla
*Assistant Referee 1 – Emmanuel Okudra
*Assistant Referee 2 – Gilbert Ngyendo
*Fourth Official – Ronald Madanda
*Referee Assessor – Ronnie Kalema