Azam Uganda Premier League
Express FC 1-2 KCCA FC
Mutessa II War Memorial Stadium, Wankulukuku
KCCA had to do it the hard way as they overcame a spirited Express side 2-1 at Wankulukuku to move second in the Azam Uganda Premier League.
Allan Okello and Jackson Nunda each struck once in the first half to cancel out Ayub Kisalita’s early penalty as KCCA registered only their fouth win away from home this season.
The game started slowly but came to life in the 14thminute when Jalili Kisujju ran through on goal but pulled his strike wide of Tom Ikara’s goal.
KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi was forced into an early substitution as anchorman Isaac kirabira was pulled off in a tactical move after only 17 minutes and was replaced by Paul Mucurezi.
The move immediately back fired as the two time league defending champions where soon 1-0 down. Express talisman Micheal Birungi sent in a cross from the right into the penalty area and Jalili fell to the ground under pressure from Filbert Obenchan and the referee pointed to the spot.
Former SC Villa defender turn midfielder Ayub Kisalita stepped up and sent Ikara the wrong way to put the home side into the lead, much to the jubilations of the Express faithful.
Allan Okello restored purity for the away side on 31 minutes when he poked home a loose ball after Express goalkeeper Godwin Bule had saved from a Timothy Awanyi header.
The first card of the game came two minutes later when Obenchan fouled Jalil and was shown yellow.
A couple of minutes to half time, Lawrence Bukenya played Jackson Nunda through on goal and the tall silky midfielder slotted in expertly one on one with Bule. The referee allowed the goal to stand despite protest by the home fans who were claiming offside.
Before the ball was put into the center circle, the livid fans started throwing stones both to the linesman and some KCCA fans and play was halted for 10 minutes until order was restored.
On 55 minutes, first half substitute Mucurezi should have made it 3-1 to KCCA but he failed to control his run after rounding Bule and Express captain Hitmana came to the rescue of the Red Eagles and cleared for a throw in.
Three minutes later, Julius Poloto sent in a delicious cross from the right and it was met by Okello who was unmarked in the penalty area but his weak header went off target.
Nunda had a chance to improve his day’s tally to two on the hour mark but his long range strike went off target with Bule clearly beaten.
Express’s second half substitute Alfred Leku robbed Awanyi of the ball deep into KCCA’s half but his cross sailed across goal with no one to poke it home.
With six minutes of normal time to play, Derrick Nsibambi who came on for Okello on 76 minutes, raced through on goal but could not finish as he was closed down by Bule and the striker’s effort bounced off the keeper’s chest.
Express had one final chance to level the game but Leku could not connect with a cross from the left, leaving Ikara to bravely punch the ball out of touch for a corner.
At the sound of the final whitsle, angry Express fans throw stones and other objects to KCCA FC players as they went to the dressing rooms and the riot Police had to fire bullets and tear gas to restore order.
The win for KCCA means that they move to second on the table with 51 points from 26 games, four behind leaders Vipers who defeated Proline 3-1 on the same day at Lugogo.
For Express, they remained third from bottom with 26 points from as many games with only four games to play.
Other games played today:
Bright Stars 0-0 UPDF FC
Proline 1-3 Vipers SC
Police 1-0 Soana
Bul FC 2-0 Maroons
SC Villa vs Kirinya JSS
Masavu vs Mbarara City
Onduparaka vs URA FC