STARTIMES UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
Vipers SC 1-1 URA FC
Just two days on from an important away victory over KCCA FC courtesy of Yunus Sentamu and Milton Karisa goals, Vipers were back at home as they took on table leaders URA FC.
With victory ensuring a return to the StarTimes Uganda Premier League summit, the pressure was on Vipers SC to secure another three points from a determined bogey side that always gives us headache.
Fred Kajoba believed in the coaching philosophy of never change a winning team as he maintained with the same starting lineup that claimed victory against the Kasasiro lads at the MTN Phillip Omondi stadium.
Following successive losses to the tax collectors from the last two meetings, it was always going to be a tough challenge for Vipers and while the visitors made sure that was the case, the Venoms quality eventually mattered.
In a first half of few chances, Vipers suffered a scare in the 30th minute as Fabien Mutombora produced a brilliant save from Benjamin Nyakojo’s powerful header to the relief of the Venoms faithful.
Three minutes later,, URA took the lead against the run of play as Cromwell Rwothomio rounded off Livingstone Mulondo in a dramatic fashion before steering the ball past Mutombora at the near post.
As the clock ticked towards the half time breather, Hudu Mulikyi superbly blocked Yunus goal bound shot and from the counter attack, Shafiq Kagimu almost doubled their lead but his effort sailed over the crossbar.
FIFA referee Ali Sabila Chelangat cautioned Benjamin Nyakojo during the first half as the Venoms struggled for quality against URA’s speedy game and the break came with the defending champions down1-0.
Kajoba made changes for Vipers directly after half time as Paul Mucureezi & Ibrahim Orit replaced Richard Basangwa and Milton Karisa respectively.
It took Orit four minutes after coming on to make an impact as he delivered a perfect cross to Yunus whose header was ably handled by Hannington Sebwalunyo.
At the hour mark, Halid Lwaliwa made a rare mistake giving the ball away to Rwothomio who in turn passed to Steven Mukwala but his effort was weak to beat Mutombora.
A minute later, Sam Simbwa made a forced substitution as Moses Seruyidde left the pitch limping following a Paul Willa challenge and Brian Nkuubi Semakula came on.
In the 63rd minute, Kajoba brought on more fresh legs by withdrawing Musa Ssali and Karim Watambala for Paul Mucureezi and Allan Kayiwa as Vipers desperately looked for a breakthrough.
Sensing danger, URA’s tactician Simbwa made a second change bringing on Julius Mutyaba for a tired Ivan Serubiri in a bid to tighten up the midfield which the Venoms had completely taken control of after their substitutions.
Vipers suffered a scare in the 81st minute as Halid limped off with an injury and Disan Galiwango replaced him as Kajoba made a tactical twist by shifting to 3-5-2 formation which eventually yielded results.
Towards the last four minutes of the game, Bobosi Byaruhanga lofted a beautiful ball to Manzoki who flicked it on for Yunus to fire a left footed shot past Sebwalunyo for the equaliser.
Both Vipers Kayiwa and URA’s Brian Majwega were booked for foul play and time wasting respectively before the referee brought an entertaining game to the end.
Despite Vipers failing to reclaim the table leadership, they will now look ahead of the next match against SC Villa on Saturday at Bombo Military barracks in buoyant moods after an improved second half performance.
Vipers Paul Willa was picked as the man of the match to the disappointment of URA’s Simbwa who thought otherwise and even caused commotion at the final whistle.
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