Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 2-3 Mbarara City FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Tuesday, May 18
Vipers SC surrendered a two-goal first-half lead to lose 3-2 at home to Mbarara City FC on Tuesday.
The Venoms who have now gone four home games minus victory, took the healthy lead through Yunus Ssentamu and Paul Mucurezi.
Ssentamu raced onto a Paul Willa through ball before slotting passed the on-rushing Muhammed Ssekeba to put Vipers ahead before Paul Mucurezi bundled in from a rebound to make it 2-0.
However, what had earlier seemed like an easy victory turned on its head as Vipers scored three goal in the second half.
First, Paul Willa handled in the area to allow Solomon Okwalinga to net from the spot.
Substitute Bashir Mutanda then levelled matters with a fierce drive from outside the area before Jude Ssemugabi netted with five minutes to play to hand Mbarara victory.
The defeat means Vipers drop to 3rd, two points behind leaders Express FC (55) who beat Busoga United 4-0 on the same day.
For Mbarara, they are now 8th on the log with 32 points from 25 games.
Vipers Collapse To Lose At Home Again
Vipers SC have been struggling for points at home of late.
Going into the game, they had gone three successive-home games without victory having drawn twice and lost the other.
Their were surprises in the team that lined up to start on Tuesday with several changes made to the side that beat SC Villa on Saturday.
However, they got off to a strong start in the first half as Ssentamu and Mucurezi netted to had the Venoms a two-goal lead at halftime.
Then came the second half where they literally collapsed and conceded one chance after another to allow Mbarara to find a way back into the contest.
First, a mix up between Willa and Rashid Toha resulted into the latter handling in the area for the penalty that enabled the visitors to pull a goal back.
The introduction of Abraham Ndugwa, Richard and Jamal Kalisa was supposed to inspire them in search of a third goal but Mbarara continued assaulting the Venoms goal and moments later, Mutanda equalised before Jude Ssemugabi’s winner with five minutes to play.
With the very last kick of the game, Ceaser Manzoki had a golden opportunity to ensure Vipers took home at least a point but the Congolese export shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Mutanda’s Introduction Inspires Ankole Lions
Mbarara City have endured a dip in form in the second round, pulling closer to the relegation zone after winning just twice in their past seven games going into Tuesday.
They were however encouraged by their past record against Vipers as they had not lost in the last five matchups with the Venoms.
Conceding twice in the opening 30 minutes did not do their confidence any food but a stroke of genius by the technical team kick-started an unlikely comeback.
Just before halftime, Mutanda was introduced in place Zaidi Byekwaso and the team instantly looked to have found a lease of life despite not troubled the Venoms until early in the second half.
Mutanda who passed through the ranks at Kitende was involved in the build up to Okwalinga’s penalty before rifling in from just outside the area to level matters.
Late in the game, it was Mutanda’s strike that was deflected into the path of Ssemugabi to net the winner.
In their next fixtures, Vipers are away to Bright Stars FC on Friday while Mbarara City hosts Police the following day.
How both teams started
Fabien Mutombora (GK), Paul Willa, Rashid Toha, Aziz Kayondo, Ibrahim Orit, Musa Ssali, Paul Mucurezi, Allan Kayiwa, Najib Yiga, Yunus Ssentamu, Ceaser Manzoki.
Mbarara City FC
Muhammad Ssekeba (GK), Stephen Othieno, Karim Ramathan, Ronald Otti, Ibrahim Magandazi, Zaidi Byekwaso, Jasper Aheebwa, Bebe Swalik, Solomon Okwalinga, Innocent Wafula, Jude Ssemugabi.