Tuesday, September 21
*Police 0-2 Vipers
Congolese Striker Caesar Manzoki grabbed a double as Vipers strolled past Police FC to book a place in the Stanbic Uganda Cup final.
The Venoms won 2-0 on Tuesday at FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru as the semifinal format were revised to one-leg format due to Covid19 restriction.
Manzoki pick pocketed the reckless Hassan Muhamood to score the first and added the second in the second half when he squeezed an effort past Ikara after receiving from Bobosi Byaruhanga.
Police were handed a big blow when Ikara picked an injury in the first minute of the game during a collision with Manzoki but the shot stopper laboured on until the end as the side did not have a goalkeeper on the bench.
Police looked unfit and rusty, especially defender Muhamood who cheaply gave away possession on two occasions.
Tonny Mawejje came close twice for Police, including a short that rattled the woodwork and seemingly kissed inside of the goal line.
Vipers, who earlier eliminated Busoga United, UPDF and SC Villa to reach this stage, will face winner between BUL and Express in the final.
It is a perfect start for Vipers new coach Roberto Oliviera who will be targeting to win the club’s second Uganda Cup title since they beat Onduparaka 3-1 in the 2015/2016 final.
Police Have Selves To Blame
It was a battle between the prepared against the non-prepared. And the final result provided the accurate answers.
Police FC started training just a week back in preparation for this match and were hugely exposed as they looked very pedestrian in their defence.
The side was uncharacteristically poor going forward and could not retain possession as they lacked that aggression that saw them eliminate Wakiso Giants at the previous round.
They conceded goals that would have been avoidable – The first was a gift from Muhamood who lost possession at the edge of the box while Ikara did not do well to cover his post on that second goal.
It is actually harsh to blame Ikara who endured pain throughout after getting injured in the opening minute.
And he kept them in the game including denying Manzoki in one-on-one situation and that reflex save to keep out Karisa’s first time shot in the opening minutes.
The shot stopper also flapped out Dissan Galiwango effort from a tight angle but he almost conceded twice when he was off his line.
Police may not read much from the loss but it will be a wake up call for Coach Abdallah Mubiru and reveals more work for the gaffer who was earlier linked to a move away from the club.
Hungry Venoms Have Eyes On Silverware
With all the investment, a 2020/21 Uganda Cup final will be a consolation. But nonetheless, they need it.
This Uganda Cup trophy comes with prize money and pride after URA FC were selected to represent Uganda in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Vipers could not mount a league defence after the title was awarded to Express FC due to Covid19.
They have won the Uganda Cup once but their last trip to the final was a loss to KCCA FC in 2018.
Express FC, who is a favourite to knockout BUL, will give them a hard run for their money in the final but they have showed some hunger intent in the win over Police.
Manzoki was lively right from the start and will feel unlucky not to walk away with a match ball (hat-trick) while Dan Mzee Sserunkuma was denied by a post.
Coach Roberto Oliviera was animated on the touchline and he looked like he was gelling well with his players.
Yunus Ssentamu was far from his best and the side played without captain Halid Lwaliwa. Much may change come Sunday’s final at Njeru but the Venoms iwll fancy themselves to win the trophy and take the Sh50m prize money.
Police FC XI – Tom Ikara, Hassan Mahmood, Tonny Mawejje, Yusuf Ssozi, Ruben Kimera, Samuel Kayongo , Muwada Mawejje, Eric Ssenjobe, Herman Waswa, Duncan Seninde, Kiryowa.
Substitutes – Tonny Kiwalazi, Fahad Kizito, Arnold Ssembuya, Mubaraka Nsubuga, Brian Mululi
Vipers SC XI – Fabien Mutombora, Paul Willa, Disan Galiwango, Bashir Asiku, Livingstone Mulondo, Siraje Ssentamu, David Bagoole, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Milton Kalisa, Yunus Ssentamu, Ceaser Manzoki.
Substitutes – Denis Kiggundu, Paul Mucureezi, Karim Watambala, Dan Sserunkuma, Aziz Kayondo, Jacob Okao, Ibrahim Orit