Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 1-1 URA FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Tuesday, May 12
Yunus Ssentamu scored with five minutes to go to ensure Vipers SC drew 1-1 with URA FC on Wednesday afternoon.
The forward lashed onto Bobosi Byaruhanga’s pass before shooting past the hapless Hannington Ssebwalunyo in the visitors’ goal.
His strike handed Vipers what had looked like an unlikely point, for much of the game.
Earlier, Cromwel Rwothomio had given URA a first half lead as he squeezed a low shot past Fabien Mutombora, at the near post.
The draw sees URA maintain top spot with 51 points, one ahead of second placed Vipers with both sides having played 23 games.
Ssentamu Rescues Vipers Again
Vipers started the season as favourites to win the Uganda Premier League and by the end of the first round, they were in pole position to retain the title they won for a third time last campaign.
However, they have struggled lately especially at home with results not falling in their favour.
The game on Wednesday came on the back of a goalless draw against Wakiso Giants FC and a 1-0 loss to Express FC in their last two games at Kitende.
With the team unable to find the target in successive home games, it is an issue that the technical team must have worked on in the build up to the game.
They opted for a three-man attack that had Richard Basangwa and Milton Karisa playing either side of Yunus Ssentamu.
Against a usually well organized URA FC back-line, nothing was expected to come easy and all three must have known that they were poised to work hard if they were to get any joy in the game.
The duo of Basangwa and Karisa failed miserably and it came as no surprise that they were both taken off at halftime.
Ssentamu who came into the game with 12 goals had an average afternoon by his standards but rescued his side again, in the end.
He had a chance to level matters in the first half but he held onto the ball for long before his effort was blocked by Huudu Mulikyi.
Early in the second half, he was picked out by substitute Ibrahim Orit’s pin-point-accurate cross but headed weakly straight at Ssebwalunyo.
Just like he has always done in the past, Ssentamu popped up with the goods late in the game as he lashed onto Bobosi Byaruhanga’s over-the-top pass to riffle in the equalizer on 85 minutes.
Having snatched a point from the jaws of defeat, Vipers will now hope they can win all their remaining games and pray URA drops points along the way so as to win their fourth championship.
URA Get Job Done At Kitende
URA FC have won over neutrals as the team many want to win the title this campaign.
Off two home victories against Mbarara City FC and Onduparaka FC, they came into the game with a one-point lead at the top of the standings.
Away to Vipers has of late been a good hunting ground for Sam Simbwa’s side having won two of their past three games at Kitende, going into Tuesday’s encounter.
The return to fitness of striking due of Steven Mukwala and Cromwel Rwothomio, in the past few days, was a major boost for a side that struggled in the pair’s absence.
With 18 goals between them, any sort of inspiration upfront was expected to come from them.
The other main threat for the Tax Collectors, going forward, had to be the inspirational captain Shafik Kagimu who leads the midfielders in scoring with nine goals and netted twice in the 3-1 victory over Onduparaka last Friday.
Just like it has been the case all season, Kagimu was at the centre of all good for the visitors.
After heading just wide from Brian Majwega’s cross, he played a delicious improvised-no-look pass to Rwothomio who had time to beat Mulondo before shooting low, at the near post, past Mutombora to score the all important opening goal.
The skipper also had chances to add his name on the score sheet but shot over from just outside the area before side-footing Rwothomio’s low pass, weakly at the outstretched Mutombora.
Mukwala barely had a sniff on goal but his energy and consistent running upfront caused Vipers issues all day long.
Rwothomio who was just returning from injury took matters in his hand and after bothering Aziz Kayondo down the right, his low drive somehow found it’s way into the back of the net.
URA were forced to sit deep and defend their lead for most of the second half and they executed the job well to ensure they took at least a point homeon the
With time running out, a lapse in concentration allowed Ssentamu to find space in the area and score the equalizing goal.
However, the point earned means it is URA’s title to lose as they came into the game needing to avoid defeat so as to remain top of the log.
In their next fixtures, Vipers are away to SC Villa on Saturday while URA hosts Police FC on the same day.
How both teams started
Fabien Mutombora (GK), Halid Lwaliwa, Aziz Kayondo, Livingstone Mulondo, Paul Willa, Karim Watambala, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Musa Ssali, Yunus Ssentamu, Milton Karisa, Richard Basangwa.
Hannington Ssebwalunyo (GK), Shafik Kagimu, Hudu Mulikyi, Patrick Mbowa, Ashraf Mandela, Brian Majwega, Ivan Sserubiri, Steven Mukwala, Benjamin Nyakoojo, Moses Sseruyidde, Cromwel Rwothomio.