StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Police FC 1-3 Vipers SC
Vipers sports club toiled away after going a goal down at Police, but two rare first half goals from defenders and a late beauty sealed a crucial 3-1 victory.
Just three days on from one of our most important wins at home over Proline FC, the Venoms were back on the road at StarTimes Stadium as we took on Abdallah Mubiru’s Cops.
Edward Golola made two changes to the side that beat Proline FC at Kitende as Rahmat Ssenfuka and Dan Sserunkuma returned to the team at the expense of the injured duo of Siraje Sentamu and Innocent Wafula.
The Cops are fighting the drop after a miserable start to the season and therefore served as another tough challenge for Vipers with quick deft touches though they later gave in.
Despite the early possession dominance by the hosts, Vipers looked composed whenever they surged forward and Tony Kiwalazi found himself in the referee’s book after bringing down Aziz Kayondo in the 16th minute.
Two chances in succession fell to Vipers but Allan Kayiwa mischewed one from Kayondo’s cross which Fahad Bayo flicked on and four minutes later, Paul Willa forced a save from Hillary Jomi with a long range effort from 30 yards.
However in the 28th minute, Police took the lead on the run of play when Hood Kaweesa rose high to nod a cross past Fabien Mutombora following a brilliant piece of work by Yusuf Sozzi who evaded Kayondo to deliver the assist.
Vipers had a great opportunity to equalise soon after as a result of Bashir Asiku’s header from a Bobos Byaruhanga corner but Ruben Kimera cleared it off the line to safety.
Moments later, Ssenfuka’s blockbuster of a shot, was punched by Jomi before he bizarrely allowed Willa’s shot into the net for Vipers equaliser as he adjudged it to be going out.
By now, the Venoms were in total control and went ahead two minutes from the equaliser as skipper Halid Lwaliwa headed a swinging corner by Karim Watambara for a 2-1 half time lead.
At the start of the second half, Coach Mubiru saved Jomi more embarrassment as he replaced him with Davis Mutebi and Police returned for the second stanza a different side as Lwaliwa cleared Kimera’s goal bound shot off the line to the relief of the Venoms.
As the hosts continued to grow into the game looking for an equaliser, Mubiru made a second call by bringing off Kimera for Pius Kaggwa before Vipers Sserunkuma was booked for foul play.
Vipers survived another scare in the 60th minute when Arafat Galiwango found unmarked Johnson Odongo with a lofted pass who hit the upright before Samson Kigozi forced a save from Mutombora on the rebound.
To avert danger, Golola brought on fresh legs in Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye for Sserunkuma while on the other end, Odongo left the field for Timothy Oyamo before Brian Kalumba replaced Kayiwa.
Towards the end, Watambara wrapped the game up to cap an emphatic performance as Willa found him with a beautiful loop and the diminutive midfielder charged the entire home half to fire past Mutebi to the jubilation of travelling Venoms.
Abraham Ndugwa joined the fray for a cameo appearance in place of Watambara while Ssenfuka received a late caution as Vipers temporarily moved to third position before being dislodged later when SC Villa pipped Wakiso Giants in the floodlights match.
Vipers face Express FC in the next home game at St Mary’s stadium on Saturday October 12th, 2019 at 3:00pm.
Copyright 2019 Vipers Sports Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.viperssc.co.ug as the source.