StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 1-2 URA FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
KITENDE – URA FC all but ended Vipers’ hopes of retaining the StarTimes Uganda Premier League title as the Tax Collectors ran out 2-1 winners in a contest played at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende on Friday, April 19.
Goals from Shafick Kagimu and Victor Kilama proved too much for Vipers who later pulled one back through Hamis Diego Kizza who rebounded after his initial penalty had been saved.
The game started slowly with the major highlight in the opening 15 minutes being the fancy trick by URA custodian James Alitho as he dribbled past Vipers’ Steven Mukwala just a few yards from his goal mouth.
URA got the first chance of the afternoon as Kilama tried to score off a fancy back heel off a Joachim Ojera pass on 23 minutes but failed to connect cleanly with the ball allowing Vipers to clear their lines.
A minute later, Shafick Kagimu opened the scoring to put URA in the lead.
Vipers who had been struggling to create chances found one in form a free kick just outside the URA penalty area. Tom Matsiko rolled the bell into Brian Nkuubi’s path but the midfielder’s ferocious strike was charged down by the visitor’s defensive wall.
The home side was forced into an early change with Diego Hamis Kizza replacing the injured Bobos Byaruhanga on 37 minutes.
In a tactical change, their second of the afternoon, Ibrahim Tembo replaced Tom Matsiko with 4 minutes to halftime as the Venoms were seeking control of the game.
However, the Tax Collectors would not back off as Kagimu shot from just inside the box but his left footed strike was parried away from danger by custodian Derrick Ochan.
URA who had been the best side in the first half went into the break deservedly leading 1-0.
At the start of the second half, Cromwell Rwomothio replaced Moses Sseruyidde as URA called for their first change.
As Vipers pressed for an equalizer, URA landed the sucker punch at the other end as Kilama finished calmly off an Ojera cut-back.
Moments after URA scored their second, Vipers pulled one back at the other end as former Tax Collector, Diego Kizza pounced onto a rebound after his initial penalty had been saved by Alitho, to slot in coolly for 2-1.
The first yellow card of the game was shown to Vipers’ left back Aziz Kayondo for a bad tackle on Ojera on 69 minutes.
From the resultant free-kick, Vitalis Tabu curls his effort just over the bar.
In the last 20 minutes, Vipers went all out in search of an equalizer but were looking suspect on the counter.
With time running out, Nkuubi tried his luck from distance but his left footed shot flew over the bar.
Two minutes from time, URA took off Ojera and replaced him with Julius Mutyaba in an effort to ease on the pressure that was being exerted onto them.
The two added-on minutes did not see any telling action as URA ran out 2-1 winners on the day.
The loss means Vipers remain second, six points behind KCCA FC who occupy top spot.
The Kasasiros take on Express on Saturday and four points from their remaining four games will see Mike Mutebi’s side crowned 2018/19 StarTimes Uganda Premier League champions.
For URA, who remain unbeaten away from home this season, they also remain third, only four points behind Vipers.
The other game played on Friday:
-Bright Stars 1-1 Police FC