Azam Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 3 – 2 KCCA FC
St. Marys Stadium, Kitende
Vipers overcame a spirited KCCA FC side 3-2 at the St. Marys Stadium in Kitende to consolidate top spot in the Azam Uganda Premier league.
The Venoms had to do it the hard way, overcoming an early goal by Shaban Muhammad which had put the visitors KCCA in the lead.
Milton Karisa scored twice either side of a Ssekisambu long range strike before Shaban executed an overhead kick to ensure that the game ends 3-2 in Vipers’ favor.
The match started brightly and Vipers got the first chance of the game when Ssekisambu robbed KCCA defender Paul Misamli of the ball but selfishly shot off defender Timothy Awanyi while having an option of playing in either Dan Sserunkuma or Milton Karisa who would have been one on one with the goalkeeper.
KCCA got their first sight of the Vipers goal on six minutes but Isaac Kirabira shot wide of the target after he was teed up by Mustapha Kizza down the left.
The first goal came on 12 minutes when KCCA striker Shaban Muhammad rose and met a Timothy Awanyi long ball from a free kick and Vipers’ keeper Ismail Watenga misjudged the cross leaving the striker to head into an empty net hence silencing the home crowd that had been booing him from the start.
Vipers should have equalized two minutes later only for Dan Sserunkuma to fail and shot the ball that got stuck in his legs, in the net after good work by Ssekisambu down the right which saw him beat Paul Musamali and leaving him for dead.
Seconds later, Karisa sent the home fans into a frenzy as KCCA failed to clear their lines following a poor shot from outside the area by Tadeo Lwanga and the ball fell into the path of the dread locked midfielder who expertly placed it in the bottom corner past Lukwago.
The home team felt Shaban should have been sent off two minutes after the equalizer when he head butted Tadeo Lwanga in the center circle after the later had pulled down Allan Okello as KCCA tried to execute a counter attack but referee Ali Sabir only flashed out a yellow card for the youthful striker much to the dis-test of the Venoms’ faithful.
Much of the rest of the first half was played without further goal mouth action until Vipers’ captain Nicholas Wadada unleashed a ferocious shot from 30 yards on 45 minutes but Lukwago in the KCCA goal pulled off a spectacular save as he tipped the ball over for a corner.
Straight after the fourth official, Brian Miro signaled for two minutes additional time to the half, Ssekisambu unleashed a fierce shot from outside the area and it hit the back of the net to make it 2-1 to the home side, after good combination play by Vipers in the KCCA FC penalty area.
KCCA FC head coach, Mike Mutebi introduced striker Patrick Kaddu minutes after the re-start in place of the ineffective Allan Okello to try and exert more pressure on Vipers and it nearly paid off four minutes later only for the striker to shot wide of the target from close range.
On the hour mark, Watenga miss judged a low cross from Mustapha Kizaa but Paul Mucurezi failed to take advantage as the ball went out begging for only a corner kick with the goalkeeper floored helplessly.
On 54 minutes, Dan Sserunkuma nearly made it 3-1 to the hosts but his close range back heel was cleared off the line by KCCA captain Timothy Awanyi following a penalty area scramble.
Three minutes later, Shaban missed a golden opportunity to grab the equalizer as he headed wide a delightful cross from the ever green Julius Poloto.
KCCA thought they had got the elusive second goal on 62 minutes but Patrick Kaddu’s goal bound header was cleared off the line by Nicholas Wadada after goalkeeper Watenga was clearly beaten by a Mustapha Kizza corner.
With ten minutes to go, Vipers scored a third goal when Milton Karisa completed his brace, tapping home a Yayo Lutimba low cross to take his season’s tally to 10.
Three minutes later, Shaban scored his 12 goal of the season, a beautiful overhead kick after controlling a Mustapha Kizza cross into the area.
Despite a nervy ending, KCCA could not find the third goal and Vipers matched onto victroy which ensures their status as league leaders for at least 24 hours.
Vipers now have 52 points from 25 games, three ahead of second placed SC Villa who play Mbarara City at Kakyeka Stadium on Saturday but the Jogoos will need to win by three clear goals to regain top spot.
KCCA FC remains third with 28 points from 25 games and will now have to win all their five matches and pray that the top two drop points in two or more games so as to win a third crown on the trot.
KCCA will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Mwerere to face Nelson Ssenkatuka’s Bright Stars.
In the other game played on Friday, Onduparaka thrashed Police 5-0 at Namboole to move level on points with Kirinya JSS in third.
Starting Line ups:
Charles Lukwago, Filbert Obenchan, Timothy Awanyi, Paul Musamali, Lawrence Bukenya, Isaac Kirabira, Mustapha Kizza, Julius Poloto, Allan okello, Paul Mucurezi, Shaban Muhammad.
Ismail Watenga, Nicholas Wadada, Halid Lwaliwa, Geoffrey Wasswa, Tadeo Lwanga, Erisa Ssekisambu, Duncan Sseninde, Milton Karia, Dan Sserunkuma, Bashir Asiku, Moses Waiswa.