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Football

Alfred Leku’s second half strike enough to keep Express FC in the Uganda Premier League

Express FC fans celebrating after the final whistle (Photos by Shaban Lubega)

Azam Uganda Premier League
Masavu FC 0-1 Express FC
Fisheries Institute, Bugonga
Friday, 25-05-2018

Express defeated Masavu 1-0 at the Fisheries Institute in Bugonga to retain their Uganda Premier League status for the upcoming season.

On a day that the Red Eagles required a hero, it was Vipers loanee, Alfred Leku who had not found the back I the net all season that scored the priceless goal.

Alfred Leku (left) heads a ball during the 1-0 win over Masavu on Friday (Photo by Shaban Lubega)

Express showed their intentions right from the on set as Michael Birungi crossed in from the left but the ball was intercepted out for a corner as early as the opening minute.

Masavu who had relegation written all over them showed signs of being a hard nut to crack for Express with cagy football coupled by hard tackling which resulted into right back Moses Kigundu being booked for a foul on Birungi after nine minutes.

12 minutes into the game, Express fans started throwing stones at the lines man after he called for an offside on Alfred Leku and the game was halted for close to five minutes.

Moments after the re-start, Masavu goalkeeper Salim Wakiya want down holding his shoulder, much to the frustration of the Express faithful.

With 17 minutes on the clock, Express midfielder Davis Mayanja unleashed a fierce shot from outside the penalty area which was tipped over by Wakiya for a corner.

Six minutes later, Mayanja unleashed another shot into a forest of legs in the area and despite hesitation from the Masavu defenders initially, the ball finally found its way out for a throw in.

The first real opportunity can on 25 minutes when Birungi made a brilliant ran down the left but Ayub Kisalita who had found himself in acres of space could only blast over from 12 yards.

At the stroke of half time, Express got on final chance to go into the break with the lead after Leku was brought down outside the penalty area, the striker picked him self and blasted the resulting free kick into the Masavu wall.

Two minutes after the re-start, Jalilu Janjali crossed in from the right but Mayanja headed Straight at Wakiya.

Moments later, Mayanja was at it again but headed wide of the target from a Mubarak Nsubga free kick.

Masavu finally created an opportunity for them selves on 53 minutes when captain Abraham Ndugwa turned inside before blasted over from just outside the box.

On the 55th minute mark, Express finally got the all elusive goal. Edgar Bwogi sent in a low cross from the left which was controlled from just inside the area by Leku and the striker turned sharply to unleash a low shot past Wakiya and as a result, sent all Express fans in attendance into jubilation.

Some of the Express fans run to congratulate Leku after the game.

For the next five minutes or so, Massavu exerted relentless pressure onto Express but could not create any clear goal scoring opportunities.

Alfred Leku got a chance to make it 2-0 but could not put the ball in the back of the net after he was played in through on goal by Ayub Kisalita.

Express was asking all the questions but could not get the all elusive second goal and could only watch in agony as Michael Birungi blasted wide their best chance of the closing stages.

Despite a spirited onslaught from Masavu, they failed to get a goal and the result confirmed their relegation back to the Big league, one season after they gained promotion.

For Express, their 2018/19 Uganda Premier League status was confirmed after both UPDF and Proline lost to Vipers and URA respectively on the same day.

Express finished the season on 31 points, two above the relegation zone.

The three relegated teams:

14. UPDF 29pts
15. Proline 28pts
16. Masavu 26pts

The other results from games played on Match-Day 30.

-Vipers SC 4-1 UPDF FC
-Police FC 2-2 KCCA
-Proline FC 1-2 URA FC
-Onduparaka FC 2-0 Bright Star
-SC Villa 0-1 Bul FC
-Mbarara City 0-2 Kirinya
-Soana 0-0 Maroons.

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