Uganda Premier League
URA FC 2-0 KCCA FC
Arena of Visions, Ndejje
URA FC maintained their push for a first league title since 2011 as they dispatched KCCA FC 2-0 on Tuesday at the Arena of Visions.
Second half goals from Joackim Ojera and captain Shafiq Kagimu were all that Sam Simbwa’s side needed to get the job done.
After a goalless first half, Ojera found himself unmarked in the area to head home Brian Majwega’s cross and hand URA the lead on 55 minutes.
Kagimu doubled the Tax Collectors’ lead, 10 minutes later as he poked-in from close range after collecting from Steven Mukwala.
It was a day to forget for KCCA who failed to get going throughout the game and in the end, succumbed to their first loss under the stewardship of Morley Byekwaso.
With Vipers also winning their match-day 17 contest at home to Busoga United, URA stays joint top of the log with 39 points alongside the Venoms.
For KCCA, they remain in 4th spot with 30 points from 13 games.
URA Pass Major Test In Their Title Bid
URA have put themselves in the title conversation this season as they occupy the top two slots after impressing in the first half of the campaign.
They started the day joint top of the standings and with Vipers SC at home to Busoga in a game that the Venoms were expected to take care of, the Tax Collectors were aware that there was no room for error against KCCA or else they risked falling off the pace.
Off a loss to Express FC in their last game in the league, URA were desperate for all three points to reignite their bid for a first title in over 10 years.
Starting upfront with Dada Ibrahim instead of his usual partner Cromwel Rwothomio, the onus was on League top scorer Steven Mukwala to ensure his side took the afternoon.
However, he failed to get going in the opening 45 minutes as the visitors’ defence stood firm.
With Mukwala struggling, Rwothomio was introduced at the start of the second half and URA stepped up the gear as they made relentless attacks on the KCCA goal.
Mukwala would eventually come to life but first, shot straight at Lukwago after making a breath-taking run from the centre-line before setting up Kagimu for the second goal.
However, it was Ojera, who has missed most of the season due to injury concerns, who looked like he would break the deadlock. always looked dangerous with his pace and direct running down the right.
After testing Lukwago twice in the first half, he got onto the score-sheet off a header as he netted from a Brian Majwega right-footed cross.
Then Kagimu made a late run into the box, collected from Mukwala before netting the second.
Rwothomio had a chance to put his name on the score sheet but dragged his low effort wide after pouncing onto a long ball.
Mukwala was also guilty of a miss as he turned the KCCA defence inside and out but shot wide at the most crucial of moments.
The Tax Collectors who were the the better side on the day and had several chances to score more but Kagimu shot over from inside the area and Rwothomio shot over after good link up play with Mukwala before the striker headed over from a good position.
KCCA Continue Poor Run Against The Tax Collectors
KCCA have recently struggled against URA FC, something that is hard to find against any other side.
Going into the game, they had not won any of their last four matches against the Tax Collectors, losing three and drawing once.
Having lost the first encounter at Lugogo 2-1, Byekwaso’s side must have know how tough a task it was to try and win on Tuesday.
They struggled in the early exchanges and tried to feed off corner kicks from Julius Poloto but on several occasions, the delivery was lacking.
Poloto who only returned to fitness after a while out, a week ago, headed KCCA’s only realistic chance in the first half straight at Alionzi Nafian.
With the team struggling to create chances, Bright Anukani was introduced in the place of Moses Aliro a few minutes towards the end of the first half.
Not even Anukani could inspire Byekwaso’s side as URA piled the pressure after the recess before KCCA succumbed to it thanks to Ojera as the Kasasiro’s defence let him have a free header inside the six-yard box.
As the game wore on, they looked like they were only hanging on for a respectable loss as opposed to trying to get something from the game.
The likes of Sadat Anaku and Sam Ssenyonjo, who started upfront, were disappointing and not even substitute Charles Lwanga could do anything about the course of the result.
Whether this is a sign of the struggles KCCA are to face under Byekwaso or it was just one of those days remains to be seen.
What Next For Both Sides
URA FC will return to action on Friday, April 16 at home to BUL FC.
For KCCA, they host record league champions SC Villa on Sunday, April 18 at the Omondi Stadium in Lugogo.
How both teams started
Alionzi Nafian (GK), Ashraf Mandela, Brian Majwega, Patrick Mbowa, Hudu Mulikyi, Julius Mutyaba, Shafiq Kagimu, Moses Sseruyidde, Joackim Ojera, Dada Ibrahim, Steven Mukwala.
Charles Lukwago (GK), Filbert Obenchan, Peter Magambo, Herbert Achai, Moses Aliro, Hassan Jurua, Denis Iguma, Ashraf Mugume, Julius Poloto, Sam Ssenyonjo, Sadat Anaku.