Uganda Premier League
Busoga United vs Express FC
Mighty Arena, Jinja
Express FC got their second round off to a losing start as they were beaten 2-0 by Busoga United FC at the Mighty Arena on Friday afternoon.
Second-half goals by Ivan Wani and Boban Zirintusa ensured the Students complete a double over Express, having defeated them 2-1 in the first game at Wankulukuku earlier in the season.
This is Express’s eighth loss of the season and it sees them remain 11th on the log with 18 points.
For Busoga, they climb into 7th spot in the standings with 21 points from 16 games.
Express misery in Jinja continues
Express FC have always found it tough when they travel away to Jinja based sides.
Before Friday, they had lost all their last five visits to Jinja with their last victory coming against Sadolin FC in 2017.
Having lost to both BUL FC and Busoga United in the first round, the Red Eagles faithful had every right to be worried going into Friday’s encounter.
Despite the heavy downpour before the match, Express looked calm and tried to take the initiative early.
Disan Ggaliwango who was arguably their best player in the opening round was their main source of threat down the left.
The Red Eagles’ captain pounced on a loose ball and was unlucky to see his first-time effort kiss the base of the post before Busoga cleared their lines.
Ggaliwango who has so far scored five goals this season then sent a speculative effort wide from some distance out.
The left-back turn forward looked to be the game’s best bet for an opening goal but seemed not to have carried his scoring boots on Friday as he dragged an effort wide from a promising position just before the break.
With Busoga dominating most of the second half, Express were forced to fall behind and not even Ggaliwango could offer much going forward.
Frank Kalanda-their top scorer with 7 goals, curled a late free-kick over in what was Express’s only real effort in the second half.
It is a loss that many will feel was expected due to the Red Eagles’ poor form in Jinja but one that George Ssemwogerere and his side will not be pleased with as they did little to avoid it.
No Madondo no problem for Busoga
Busoga United FC were on Friday starting life without Joel Madondo who is expected to seal a move to Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca.
In the absence of Madondo, Boban Zirintusa who scored five first-round goals was expected to carry the team past Express FC.
He, however, looked isolated up front for most of the game until he got his chance from the spot to double the hosts’ lead on 79 minutes.
After Joseph Zziwa brought down substitute Paul Ssekulima, Zirintusa stepped forward and converted the resulting kick.
Earlier, Busoga had taken the lead three minutes into the second half as Ivan Wani connected expertly with a David Bagoole corner to head the ball into the back of the net.
The home side had other chances to score more but were let down by either poor finishing or excellent goalkeeping by the returning Express FC custodian Mathias Muwanga.
Kenneth Ssemakula saw a freekick pushed away by Muwanga before George Kasonko was also denied by the custodian who had to exhibit good reflexes in the due course.
Muwanga was once again called into action as the game neared the mandatory break, diving low to pary a Jeromey Kirya header.
At some point, it looked like it was Busoga United vs Muwanga and he once again showcased excellent reflexes to deny Bagoole midway through the second period.
The custodian who was starting his first game of the season after a lengthy layoff due to a back injury then closed down Ssekulima to block the substitute’s first time volleyed effort off a Bagoole corner.
Busoga returns to action on Tuesday away to SC Villa while Express will also be away in their next fixture, against Police.
How both teams started
Rogers Omwdwa (GK), Abubaker Otwao, Julius Debbo, Shafiq Kakeeto, Kenneth Ssemakula George Kasonko, Isma Mugulusi, David Bagoole, Jeromey Kirya, Ivan Wani, Boban Zirintusa
Mathais Muwanga (GK), Andrew Kiwanuka, David Kakeeto, Joseph Zziwa, Denis Sserukwaya, Lawrence Kigonya, Daniel Shabena, Frank Kalanda, Frank Ssenyondo, Disan Ggaliwango, Yiga Muhammad