February 18, 2020 | St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende

Vipers 0-0 Vipers

Man of Match: Siraje Ssentamu

Vipers protected their five-point cushion atop the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) log courtesy of a barren draw result with KCCA FC at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Tuesday.

It was the eighth time in the Uganda Premier League history that the two local football giants shared the spoils.

Skipper Halid Lwaliwa returned to the starting lineup after overcoming an injury and was imperious in defence.

In the end, it was a perfect result for us Venoms as we ascended to 50 points, still five more than second-placed KCCA (45), with eight matches apiece left in the 2019-2020 season.

In what was the 30th League meeting between both sides, the game attracted a bevy of fans from different walks of life and the atmosphere was truly carnival. But there was nothing to separate both sides at the last whistle. 

Combative midfielder Siraje Ssentamu barely put a foot wrong in the middle of the park. A performance that earned him the Man of The Match (MoTM) award.

There were only a couple of chances but even those were kept out by goalkeepers Fabien Mutombora (Vipers) and Charles Lukwago (KCCA), who were in invincible form on the day.

The forwards, too, from the respective sides took the blame for having literally left their scoring boots tucked away in their homes. 

Game of close chances

But Vipers will particularly feel the more disappointed of the two sides. Twice KCCA skipper-keeper Lukwago tipped curled goal-bound deliveries from Geoffrey Wasswa over the bar.

Such was Wasswa’s busy day, he even found himself in the referee’s book for felling KCCA’s enterprising forward Erisa Ssekisambu minutes before the breather.

Geofrey Wasswa tackles KCCA’s Moses Aliro on the byline. The Venoms maintained their five point lead at the top.

The sentiment of dropping two points aside, Vipers will have felt a huge stab in their side after seeing one of their key players, Tito Okello, stretchered off the pitch in the 20th minute.

Okello had to be replaced by Allan Kayiwa, with more than an hour still to play. 

Allan Kayiwa (R) tormented KCCA’s Filbert Obenchan (L) and Moses Aliro throughout the game having replaced the injured Tito Okello.

KCCA playmaker Muzamiru Mutyaba, too, tested Mutombora, but the Burundian International wasn’t about to have an off day. In fact, the statistics corner spells it out clearly that it’s his safe pair of hands that have partly helped Vipers concede the lowest number of goals (12) so far this season. Only Villa (18) and URA (18) rank closest.

The jaw-dropping moments of the match included; youngster Bobosi Byaruhanga throwing his hat in the ring and troubling Lukwago in moments. His opposite, Mutombora, too, was often called to avert goal-threats throughout the game and had to deny Sadam Juma’s last gasp effort with five minutes on the clock.

Safe Hands: Goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora was in invincible form throughout the game. He’s the reason we have conceded the least number of goals in the league (12).

Look at the past

The last time the two sides played out a draw in the league was in the 2018-19 season with the match ending 1-1.

This time round, Mike Mutebi’s KCCA were looking to complete a sweet double that would have had a telling impact on the title race and Vipers’ fortunes in particular. 

In the first round, we were edged 1-0 at Lugogo but Fred Kajoba’s men were no pushovers this time round and offered enough evidence to back their current position at the dizzying summit of the log.

Vipers SC XI

Fabien Mutombora, Innocent Wafula, Geoffrey Wasswa, Bashir Asiku, Halid Lwaliwa (C), Rahmat Ssenfuka, Siraje Ssentamu, Bobosi Byaruhanga (60’ Karim Watambala), Milton Karisa, Tito Okello (20’ Allan Kayiwa), Fahad Bayo (75’ Dan Sserunkuma)

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