Tuesday, December 4
•Tooro United 0-2 Express – Buhinga
•Arua Hill 1-0 Vipers – Barifa
•Gaddafi 1-1 URA – Gaddafi Arena
•UPDF 0-1 Police – Bombo
•Wakiso Giants 4-3 BUL – Wakissha
•Bright Stars 1-0 SC Villa – Kavumba
Striker Alfred Leku scored against his old club as Arua Hill scrapped past Vipers for a 1-0 win at Barifa stadium in Arua.
The Lanky forward headed home from close range thanks to a well weighed corner from Gaddafi Wahab in the 11th minute.
Vipers reacted impressively but failed to stand stronger in crucial moments in a cagey affair.
The Venoms were the better side and created a couple of chances including one where winger Milton Karisa sent just an inch wide of Richard Anyama’s goal.
Arua Hill showed resilience and defended admirably from start to end on their way to returning to winning ways having suffered a 4-0 loss to BUL in their previous game.
Vipers misses a chance to open a four-point lead atop and will now lose their spot on the summit if KCCA FC beat Mbarara City on Wednesday at Lugogo.
Alfred Leku Guns Down Former Team
Minutes before his goal, Alfred Leku had been shown a yellow card by referee Siraje Mpyangu for protesting a decision not to be awarded a corner.
It was a stupid yellow card per say but it showed how much and pumped he was for the occasion.
And when his moment arrived in the corner, he grabbed it with open hands. He rose highest to head in from close range, giving Vipers goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora and his defence puzzled. And he celebrated with a lot of joy.
This is Leku’s seventh goal of the season but its sweeter coming against a side that deemed him surplus to requirements back in the days.
Leku joined the Kitende based side in 2015 as a student from Kibuli SS, signing a five-year contract then. However, he never saw his time at Kitende brought to a halt when he was offloaded to Onduparaka and has since had stints with Express, Proline, Botswana league before finding a safe haven at Arua Hill.
At fulltime, Leku posed for a photo with Vipers captain Halid Lwaliwa, a memory that he will not want to forget soon.
At the other end of the pitch, was Captain Rashid Toha, another former Vipers player, who also won an integral battle with Caesar Manzoki – He literally pocketed him throughout the entire 90 minutes to say the least.
He had a chance at one time to kill off the game in the second half but failed to bundle home from Wahab freekick before colliding with Mutombora.
Those were some of the rare chances by Arua Hill on the day they were made to suffer for valuable maximum points.
They move on 24 points but remain in fifth place on the table.
It is another big result for the newcomer who also took down defending Champions Express and URA FC.
Vipers Go Down Fighting
Vipers will feel unfortunate to leave Arua without a point.
Their hard work deserved to be paid, at least by a point. That’s the cruelty of the game, and the result is a big reminder of what you get if you do not take away your chances.
They had their own battles for starters; And it looked a huge mountain for the Venoms on paper for a side that played without Aziz Kayondo at the left back and Siraje Sentamu in the middle of the park.
But they tried to cope well, for some good stretches at least though they were hard done by a rugged dry pitch, vocal home support and hot conditions that necessitated two water breaks each either side of the halftime break.
After going down by Leku’s goal, Vipers had a penalty appeal turned down when Bright Vuni looked to have handled the ball in his area to deny Yunus Sentamu a break through.
Karisa missed a good chance when he was set up by Yunus only to fire wide with the outside of his left foot.
Vuni header almost found the back of his net but Keeper Anyama cleared off his line as Vipers applied pressure.
Karisa broke free on the right but his cross was kept out by Anyama who was later named player of the match.
And Vipers will feel lucky for finishing the game intact after Livingston Mulondo escaped away with just a yellow card following his last man challenge on Allan Mugalu in the closing stages.
Its Vipers second loss this loss and this one surely dents their title surge, and it promises to be quiet 475km ride back to Kitende from Arua for coach Roberto Oliveira and his men.
What Next – Arua Hill visit Police FC at Lugogo on Sunday while Vipers host BUL at Kitende this Saturday.
Arua Hill XI – Richard Anyama, Abdullahi Rashid, Richard Matovu, Bright Vuni, Rashid Toha, Muhammad Rashid, David Ndihabwe, Gadafi Wahab, Ivan Eyam, Alfred Leku, Robert Eseru
Substitutes – Eric kibowa, Fred Okot, Allan Mugalu, Innocent Media, Ssekamate Samuel, Magandaazi Ibrahim, Junior Andama
Vipers SC XI – Fabien Mutombora, Paul Willa, Livingston Mulondo, Halid Lwaliwa, Dissan Galiwango, Bashir Asiku, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Milton Karisa, Bright Anukani, Caesar Manzoki, Yunus Sentamu
Substitutes – Denis Kiggundu, Najib Yiga, Paul Mucureezi, Karim Watambala, Allan Kayiwa, Ibrahim Orit, Dan Sserunkuma
Center referee: Mpyangu Siraje
Assistant Referee 1: Ngyende Gilbert
Assistant Referee 2: Mugerwa Richard
Fourth official: Ogwal Boniface
Match assessor: Batte Denis