StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 1-0 URA FC
Vipers Sports Club sealed their 10th win in 13 games since the season started as they fought for a crucial 1-0 victory over bogey side URA FC in a thrilling encounter played this evening at St Mary’s stadium.
It was a sweet win in the sense that it happened with several key starters missing as goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora, captain Halid Lwaliwa and leading striker Fahad Bayo were all away due to National team commitments.
As if that was not enough, tantalising Abdul Karim Watambala together with teenage sensation Bobosi Byaruhanga, were also unavailable as they are sitting for Uganda Advanced Certificate of Examinations (UACE) at St Mary’s boarding secondary school.
Further to that, URA has always made Vipers suffer whenever we meet as clearly indicated in the only five wins out of the 28 meetings before this match kicked off.
Unfazed by the situation, Coach Edward Golola deployed Derrick Ochan, Geoffrey Wasswa, Allan Kayiwa, Abraham Ndugwa, Tito Okello and Dan Sserunkuma as replacements and they claimed a stake for future starting slots on the team, with breathtaking performances.
Up against one of our most difficult fixtures, with a host of missing stars whlle trying to maintain the top leadership, Vipers needed a statement display and were arguably determined as they battled to another win.
While the two teams started fast, the game soon switched to a back and forth affair as both Vipers and URA struggled to carve any meaningful chances during the first 10 minutes.
However, the game finally picked as Kayiwa forced a save from James Alitho in the 11th minute before moments later Ochan tipped over Daniel Isiagi’s goal bounder effort over the bar.
With a third of the game played, Kayiwa sent Ashraf Mandela packing onto the turf with a dummy to lay a perfect cross which Paul Willa headed out and wide with Alitho beaten.
As the Venoms took control of the midfield proceedings, confusion engulfed URA’s technical bench as they resolved to take off Micheal Birungi but later rescinded the decision as Ivan Ntege was preparing to come on with the fourth official having already indicated the change on the substitution board.
Vipers squandered a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock when Hudu Mulikyi brought down Rahmat Ssenfuka on the box edge only for Senfuka himself to miss kick the resultant freekick into the skies as referee Ali Sabila called for interval with the game goalless.
The tax collectors started the second half on top as Isiagi struck the upright with a looping ball after a misunderstanding between Bashir Asiku & Wasswa gave him room to do so.
Both coaches finally made changes to tighten up things as Golola brought off Kayiwa & Ndugwa for Ashraf Mugume and Innocent Wafula respectively while the other end, Sam Ssimbwa replaced Birungi & Isiagi with Moses Sseruyidde & Rwothomio Cromwell.
Vipers got the lead through strange circumstances as Alitho mischewed a kick as far as Ssenfuka who released Wafula on the right to lay a cross which Sserunkuma tapped in to the delight of a sizeable crowd in attendance.
Moments later, Rwothomio made his presence felt when he connected Brian Majwega’s cross from the left with a powerful header but Ochan was equal to the challenge tipping it over the bar.
And in desperate efforts to find an equaliser, URA continued to be dangerous with relentless attacks and even had the ball in the back of the net towards the last minutes but Shafiq Kagimu was offside before whipping in the cross.
Despite the continued pressure from the visitors, Vipers saw out the game as youngster Aziz Kayondo scooped man of the match award after an energy sapping display full of end to end runs on the flank.
Well done to the lads for a professional performance, all be it a nail biting encounter but the result is what counts and the Venoms now go into the big match with KCCA FC on Saturday full of confidence.
How the Venoms lined Up:
James Alitho, Ashraf Mandela, Brian Majwega, Hudu Mulikyi, Patrick Mbowa, Julius Mutyaba, Jockiam Ojera, Saidi Kyeyune, Daniel Isiagi (Rwothomio), Shafik Kagimu, Michael Birungi (Sseruyidde).
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.