Sunday, October 17
*Police FC 0-2 Vipers
*Wakiso Giants 0-3 KCCA FC
Vipers picked a routine win against Police to get their 2021/22 Uganda Premier League campaign up and running at Omondi stadium in Lugogo.
In a repeat of last month’s Uganda Cup semifinal, Caesar Manzoki and Milton Karisa scored a goal each to replicate the scoreline at Njeru.
Debutant Bright Anukani created the first goal when he picked Karisa with a good chip that beat Police defence and the pacy winger answered back when he bent in a half volley that eluded Tom Ikara before the break.
Manzoki, who scored a brace against the same opponent in the Uganda Cup semi at Njeru, haunted the side again with a close range finish after Police failed to deal with Paul Willa’s low delivery.
Police’s best moment came late in the game when Herman Wasswa headed Tonny Kiwalazi’s cross onto the crossbar but the hosts had made it easy for the Venoms throughout the game.
On a poor evening, Police also lost veteran midfielder Tonny Mawejje after he was collided into by Vipers captain Paul Willa in the last 10 minutes of the game. Mawejje was stretchered off to pave way for Fahad Kizito.
It was an uncharacteristically poor display from Police who struggled to knit two passes in the middle of the park and left coach Abdallah Mubiru with a lot of issues to ponder very early into the season.
Robertinho Here For Business
Vipers President Lawrence Mulindwa said that his new coach Roberto ‘Robertinho’ Oliveira can propel the team to a number one spot in Africa.
It is big of an ask but Robertinho has already shown glimpses of his ability.
Many will take away his Uganda Cup triumph after finding Vipers at the semis, but he has already showed that he is here to not only compete and win. And his CV, that includes Gor Mahia, Rayon Sports, teams in Brazillian and Angola among others speak volumes.
After a mixed start at Lugogo, he offloaded midfielder David Bagoole inside the first half to bring Karim Watambala as the tactician opted to take control of the midfield.
And that paid off as it gave Anukani the whole authority to loom forward and the new signing freed Karisa who beautifully opened the scores.
The Venoms did not create many chances but did the little things right to remain on top of their game.
Aziz Kayondo, named player of the match, was outstanding in opening exchanges and almost created the opener when he exploded forward to find Anukani only for the former KCCA FC midfielder to shoot weakly at goal.
Manzoki was used as a lone striker without injured Yunus Sentamu and the forward was very quiet for extended stretches but he managed to pick the right time to find the back of the net.
He almost got his second moments later when Ibrahim Orit got the better of Hassan Muhamood but could not rightly put a foot on the resultant cross.
Goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora also kept a clean-sheet but he was barely troubled beside that outstanding save off Eric Ssenjobe freekick.
Siraje Sentamu bossed the midfield while Coach Robertinho had time to bring on his new signing from Angola Jose Tavares Nelito for a much awaited cameo.
Rugged Police FC Pays Price For Sloppiness
Police FC lacked the calmness and precision that has seen them dominate even bigger opponents.
Tony Mawejje was everywhere and failed to exert authority as the midfield looked porous.
There were reckless plays as Police insisted in building feim the back and they were almost punished when goalkeeper Tom Ikara’s poor clearance was intercepted by Willa only for the defender to send his effort over the bar.
Earlier on Police looked to be in cruise control and it could have been a different story if Mawejje’s left footed effort from inside the box found the target.
But they, minutes later, conceded after the defence was caught in a deep slumber by an exquisite Anukani over-the-top chipped assist to Karisa, and the side never recovered thereafter.
Coach Abdallah Mubiru, who stood puzzled in dark shades (glasses), looked disappointed and showed his discontent to his players when they let Manzoki score the second.
The gaffer, who did not have new signing Juma Balinya and a couple of other players on Sunday, will be hoping for better days ahead.
What Next – Police visit BUL while Vipers host Wakiso Giants on October 22.
Police FC – Tom Ikara, Hassan Muhamood, Eric Ssenjobe, George Kilyowa, Tonny Kiwalazi, Samuel Kayongo, Yusuf Ssozi, Tony Mawejje, Brian Muluri, Duncan Sseninde, Muwadda Mawejje
Vipers SC – Fabien Mutombora, Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Livingston Mulondo, Bashir Asiku, Siraje Sentamu, Bobosi Byaruhanga, David Bagoole, Bright Anukani, Caesar Manzoki, Milton Karisa
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