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Football

Vipers ease past Express to reignite title race

Vipers are now level on points with leaders KCCA FC (file photo)

StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 2-0 Express FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Friday, 01-03-2019

KITENDE – Vipers moved level on points with StarTimes Uganda Premier League leaders KCCA FC thanks to a 2-0 victory over Express FC.

On a day that Express failed to trouble the Venoms, it was former Red Eagles’s striker Dan Sserunkuma who stole the show, scoring once at the start of each half and in process, hand the Kitende based side three vital points.

As expected, Vipers started strongly, pegging Express back in their own half and on 7 minutes, last season’s top scorer Dan Sserunkuma opened the scoring with a simple tap-in after he was played in by youngster-Aziz Kayondo who made a surging run down the left.

With Express struggling at all fronts, Lawrence Kigonya became the first player to be booked after fouling Tito Okello around the center circle.

Moments later, Halid Lwaliwa headed straight at Express goalkeeper Mathais Muwanga following a Tom Matsiko free-kick.

Vipers’ Ibrahim Kiyemba became the second player to be booked in the game for a reckless foul on Michael Birungi.

At the half hour mark, Vipers missed two quick chances in succession, to double their lead. First it was Okello who shot straight Isaac Mutanga while pouncing onto Ibrahim Tembo’s long throw and then Tadeo Lwanga shot wide on the rebound.

Four minutes from the break, Sserunkuma failed to connect with a Innocent Wafula low cross from the right while inside the area and the ball went out for a throw in.

It was down the right that Vipers was troubling Express and in first half additional time, Kiyemba sent another low cross into the Express penalty area which was blasted over by Sserunkuma with the goal at his mercy.

At the start of the second half, Express sent on Tony Odur and Sadiq Ssekyembe in place of the in-effective Joel Male and Shafick Kakeeto respectively, as the Red Eagles looked to add more fire-power upfront.

However, four minutes later, Vipers doubled their lead. Abraham Ndugwa who was only recalled to the starting line-up after sometime out, played in a delicate through ball for Sserunkuma who in-turn slotted in past Muwanga for 2-0.

A minute after the hour mark, Moses Waiswa who was fazed out in the last four games was introduced in place of Ndugwa.

Moments later, Okello missed a chance to put Vipers 3-0 up when he headed over Wafula’s cross, while un-marked in the area.

Vipers’ first major concern came on 67 minutes as their goalkeeper Mutombora got injured while gathering Mubaraka Kasule’s poor cross from the right. After recieving attention from the medical team, the Burundi number one picked himself up as resumed usual duty.

Express’s first real chance came on 76 minutes but Brian Umony failed to get anything onto a loose ball in the Vipers area after the Venoms lazily failed to clear their lines following Birungi’s cross.

on 80 minutes, Steven Mukwala was brought on to replace Tito Okello as the Venoms attempted to score a third.

With six minutes to play, Tony Odur lashed onto a Muwanga long clearance but could not keep his attempted lobbed effort down while one on one with Mutombora.

Express’s last change saw Pius Mbidde replace the injured Charles Lubega.

With a minute of the 90 to play, Ibrahim Kiyemba was replaced by Rahmat Ssenfuka as Vipers called for their last change.

Ssenfuka tried to stamp his mark on the game but his tame effort from distance was comfortably dealt with by Mwanga.

In the end, Vipers who dominated the game from start to finish took home all three points.

The three points for Vipers see them move level on points (45) with leaders KCCA, having played a game more. They however remain second with an inferiors goal difference as compared to that of the Kasasiros.

For Express who failed to register a single shot on target throughout the entire 90 minutes, they remain 8th on the log with 28 points from 22 games.

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