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Vipers take care of Maroons to stay in contention for League title

Vipers are still four points behind leaders KCCA FC in the standings (file photo)

StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 2-0 Maroons FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Wednesday, 27-03-2019

KITENDE – Vipers remained four points behind leaders KCCA FC thanks to a 2-0 victory over Maroons at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.

The Venoms who were without a host of first team players struck through Tom Matsiko’s penalty in the first half and Brian Nkuubi’s volleyed effort in the second.

Maroons could have pulled a goal back but Pius Obuya missed a penalty late in the game.

Vipers started the game brightly, asking all the questions but were always let down by lazy finishing. Steven Mukwala and Dan Sserunkuma were both guilty of missing chances with most of the work coming down the right as Innocent Wafula and Ibrahim Kiyemba took the initiative.

There first real shot on target came on 17 minutes as Wafula fed Mukwala but the striker’s first time shot was saved by Akol. Sserunkuma tried to pounce onto the rebound but Martin Mpuga was on hard to put the ball out of touch for a corner. From the resultant kick, Tom Matsiko found himself in acres of space but could not sort his feet and Maroons cleared their lines.

Vipers continued pressing and on 25 minutes, Akol failed to hold onto a Wafula first-time cross but the custodian was relieved to see the ball bounce off Sserunkuma and out for a goal kick.

Maroons were struggling all the way and resorted to long range shots.

First Felix Okot shot wide and over from 30 yards and then Obuya pounced onto a loose ball just outside Vipers’ area but the youthful playmaker could only look on as he missed the target by a whisker.

The first yellow card of the game came on 31 minutes and it was flashed to Bronson Nsubuga for fouling Aziz Kayondo.

With 7 minutes of the first half to play, Kayondo made a breathtaking run down the left, was brought down by Mpuga and the referee, Ronald Madanda pointed to the spot.

After minutes of protests by the visitors that also saw Captain Silvestre Okello booked, Tom Matsiko stepped up and sent Akol the wrong way to hand Vipers a 1-0 lead.

Maroons tried to go on the offensive in the last minutes of the first half but their best opportunity saw Nsubuga shoot straight at Derrick Ochan in the Vipers’ goal, from a free-kick.

At the start of the second half, Maroons looked to be a much changed side, taking the game to Vipers.

On 48 minutes, Ronald Orombi controlled Eddie Kipampa’s low cross but shot over while under pressure from Halid Lwaliwa.

The diminutive midfielder was at it again moments later but saw his powerful shot from outside the area fly over the cross bar.

As Vipers tried to counter, Brian Majwega was booked for tagging Mukwala back on 50 minutes.

Sserunkuma who was in and out of the game got a chance to double Vipers’ lead on 55 minutes but his point-blank shot was saved expertly by Akol.

On 67, Vipers made their first substitution with the returning Moses Waiswa coming on in place of Matsiko.

Orombi who was all over Vipers, robbed Kayondo of the ball on 69 minutes but looked on in disbelief as his shot from just inside the area flashed agonizingly wide of the target.

As Maroons pressed for the equalizer, they looked suspect on the counter and Mukwala nearly punished them on 75 minutes but his curling effort from just inside the area sailed over the bar after good interplay with Sserunkuma and Kiyemba.

13 minutes from time, Vipers sealed the points. Kiyemba played in Nkuubi off a lofted long ball and the midfielder shot first time past Akol and into the back of the net.

In response, Emmanuel Oringa replaced Nsubuga as the visitors made their second substitution.

Vipers looked to be headed for a comfertable victory in the end but they got a scare two minutes from time as Kiyemba handled in the box and Maroons were awarded a penalty. Obuya stepped up but put his effort wide of the target.

The three points earned on the day see Vipers move onto 48 point, four behind KCCA FC who defeated Kirinya 2-0 on the same day.

For Maroons, they remain in 13th on the table qith 25 points.

The other games played on Wednesday:

-Kirinya JSS FC 0-2 KCCA FC
-Onduparaka FC 2-1 SC Villa

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