|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
Forwards Dennis Mwemezi and Fahad Bayo were in quite a ‘venomous’ mood enroute to stinging Proline with a brace apiece to guide Vipers to a 4-2 win and forthwith a seven-point cushion atop the StarTimes Uganda Premier League standings.
Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza, who had a stint with Vipers last year, caught his former masters napping with a thunderous shot to give Proline a 1-0 lead. But that eighth minute strike was all about it as the Venoms quickly found their rhythm to secure maximum points and ascend to 42 points.
Mwemezi was without doubt the star of the day, scoring a brace and winning a penalty in the second stanza that was converted by Bayo, who also scored a pair on the day.
Coach Edward Golola made three changes to the team that won 1-0 against Kyetume FC last week with goalkeeper Derrick Ochan starting in place of Fabien Mutombora, who is on compassionate leave after losing his father.
Skipper Halid Lwaliwa regained his place in the starting line up in the place of impressive youngster Jacob Okao at the heart of defence while Mwemezi started in the three-man attack ahead of lanky Tito Okello.
Before Kiiza’s surprise strike, Bayo had been guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances. First, he headed wide Aziz Kayondo’s delivery while his other shot rattled the goal post.
Still, the lead lasted only three minutes with Mwemezi calmly restoring parity off a well laid pass from midfielder Abdul Karim Watambala.
Two minutes later, towering Bayo rose to the occasion to give Vipers the led off a rebound after Proline goalkeeper Hassan Matovu spilled Paul Mucureezi in his way. Bayo showed his class by curling the inviting delivery into the bottom left corner.
The goals continued to rain on 20 minutes with Mwemezi completing his pair and Vipers’ third with a super fine finish.
At the half hour mark, holding midfielder Siraje Ssentamu limped off after pulling a muscle and he was replaced by Ibrahim Tembo.
Skipper Lwaliwa, too, got injured before the break and coach Golola gave enterprising Okao another chance to showcase his enviable game-management skills.
The first half ended 3-1. And Mwemezi returned from the breather still anxious to bang in more goals. Proline goalie Matovu denied him a hat-trick in the 55th minute with a point-blank save. Man of Match Mwemezi’s hard work was soon rewarded when he won a penalty after defender Ibrahim Ssendi fouled him inside the ‘forbidden’ area. Bayo stood and converted to make it 4-1 in the 57th minute.
Golola’s final charge was to bring on midfield dynamo Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye in the place of newbie Mucureezi in the 67th minute.
It could have been a ‘Fantastic Five’ for Vipers at the end of the match but midfielder Rahmat Ssenfuka was unlucky not to find the back of the net when his ferocious strike ricocheted off the upright.
With five minutes left on the clock, Proline got a consolation with Hakim Kiwanuka finding space outside the area to send a low drive past Ochan.
Up next for the Venoms will be SC Villa at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Vipers SC XI
Derrick Ochan, Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Halid Lwaliwa (39’ Jacob Okao), Geoffrey Wasswa, Siraje Ssentamu (30’ Ibrahim Tembo), Rahmat Ssenfuka, Abdu Karim Watambala, Fahad Bayo, Dennis Mwemezi, Paul Mucureezi (67’ Frank Tumwesigye).
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