Uganda Cup 2018/19
Semifinals – First Leg
-Bright Stars Vs Express – Champions Stadium, Mwerere (4 PM)
-Kyetume Vs Proline – Kyetume
KAMPALA – Express FC have spent what feels like an eternity since they won anything in terms of honours.
The last times Wankulukuku was a home to champions was back in 2012 when Sam Simbwa, the current URA FC coach, was at the helm.
Then, the Red Eagles had been crowned League champions for the 7th time in their history. However, since then, Express has just been among the participants in all the competitions they have been taking part in.
Throughout the past 7 years, the Red Eagles have not come any closer to winning anything as they have been struggling at all fronts.
After the appointment of Kiryowa Kiwanuka as the new chairperson at the start of the current campaign, optimism was the order of the day at Wankulukuku and 9 months down the road, Express find themselves outright favourites in the last four of the prestigious Uganda Cup.
May be it would have been different if another traditional team was in the mix but the trio of SC Villa, KCCA FC and Vipers have already been eliminated, leaving only Express as the only side to have ever won it, amongst the last four.
With the other three remaining sides being a mid table StarTimes Uganda Premier League team in Bright Stars and two Big League sides (Proline FC and Kyetume), Express are indeed the favoitites to win it.
While speaking at the semi final press at Kati Kati Restaurant on Friday, Express head coach George Ssemwogerere emphasised that his sides are indeed favourites.
“Express Football Club has an edge over other clubs in the semifinal because we are record winners, said Ssemwogerere.
“We have prepared for this match very well and we are already in camp.
“The positive development is that we kick off away from home and we shall finish the job at home in Wankulukuku.
Express who take on Bright Stars in the first leg on Sunday, have won the cup a record 10 times. Only KCCA FC (10) can match their record.
At the same press conference, Bright Stars assistant coach Paul Kiwanuka stressed that his side intend to get the job done on Sunday, before they visit Wabkulukuku for the return leg.
“Our players have exhibited great commitment, noted Kiwanuka.
“It is the same commitment that we shall show over the two legs.
“Finishing at Wankulukuku should not be a guarantee for Express because by the time we come for the return leg, we shall have done the job.
The same press conference was also graced by Proline head coach Shafik Bisaso whose side visits Kyetume FC on Monday in the other semi final.
Bisaso joked that since the opponents had skipped the pre-match press conference, it could be a walkover as well.
Kyetume could however be forgiven for not having a representative as they had been involved in a Big League game away to Dove All Stars in Arua, the previous day.
Just like in both 2016 and 2017, a Big League side will feature in the final against a top tier team.
In 2016, Onduparaka who were then still in the Big League lost to Vipers SC and so did Paidha who were downed by KCCA in the final, the following year.
Last year, KCCA beat Vipers 1-0 in the final but both sides are already eliminated.
Express’ last triumph in the competition dates back