Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 0-1 Express FC
St. Mary’s Stadium
Friday, April 23
John Byamukama scored a goal of the season contender as Express FC beat Vipers SC 1-0 at Kitende.
The midfielder who was a surprise inclusion in the team, rifled in from distance after he was set up by Martin Kizza.
Save for late pressure by Vipers, Express looked the better side, going forward, on the day and deserved every one of the three points they earned on the afternoon.
The result means Express stay third but move onto 40 points, three behind the top three of Vipers and URA FC.
Vipers Title Defence Suffers Major Set-back
Vipers are favourites to win this year’s league crown and have been in the front seat since the start.
Much of their pace setting has been down to their brilliant home record.
However, they came into Friday’s game having dropped their first point at Kitende as they drew 0-0 with Wakiso Giants on Tuesday.
With URA hot on their heels, Fred Kajoba’s side knew they could not afford anymore slip ups against and Express side that is very much, also, intent on trying to dethrone the Venoms.
However, they struggled for much of the contest as they could not curb open the Red Eagles back-line.
With clear-cut chances hard to come by, they resorted to dead balls and shoots from distance.
Paul Mucurezi connected neatly with Disan Galiwango’s corner but his effort went over before the former Mbarara City and KCCA forward saw an effort from outside the area head wide.
Karim Watambala who looked to be lively on the day also attempted one from distance but he too could not find the target.
Yunus Ssentamu who has top scored for the Venoms this campaign struggled throughout and his fierce drive, from inside the area, that flew wide was his only telling moment on a frustrating afternoon.
After conceding from Byamukama’s goal-of-the-season contender, Vipers upped the tempo going forward and Galiwango blazed over from a good position before Watambala rattled the cross bar.
Red Eagles Fly At Kitende
Express have been struggling for points of late as they picked just two out of a possible nine.
Coming off a loss at Bright Stars and starting the day five points off the top, Express knew that anything but victory on Friday would see them all but out of the title race.
They started the brighter of the two sides as they created the better chances.
Godfrey Lwesibawa found himself one-on-one with Vipers custodian Bashir Ssekagya but somehow decided to pass rather than go for goal, enabling the Venoms to clear their lines.
Lwesibawa then shot over from just inside the area before seeing a similar result from a free-kick at the edge of the area.
Wasswa Bbosa’s side continued to create chances and after Kambale header over from Lwesibawa’s cross, they must have felt frustrated to head into the break still at per with the hosts.
On the hour mark, their hustle was rewarded in style as Byamukama collected from Kizza and sent a first-time effort into the top right-hand corner.
With Vipers piling the pressure, Express sat back and tried to see out the result.
In what can be described as desperate defending, they threw their bodies on the line and more often than not, conceded a corner kick that they dealt with.
Mathais Muwanga pulled off a breath-taking save as he denied substitute Richard Basangwa after a routine defensive action somehow created a chance for the Venoms.
How both teams started
Bashir Ssekagya (GK), Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Livingstone Mulondo, Disan Galiwango, Ibrahim Orit, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Paul Mucurezi, Yunus Ssentamu, Karim Watambala, Ceaser Manzoki.
Mathais Muwanga (GK), Enock Walusimbi, Isa Lumu, Juuko Murushid, Sadiq Ssekyembe, Mahad Yaya, John Byamukama, Charles Musiige, Martin Kizza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Eric Kambale.