Uganda Premier League
KCCA FC 1-1 Express FC
StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo
LUGOGO – KCCA FC produced a spirited performance as they drew 1-1 at home to Express FC on Saturday afternoon.
The league defending champions had youngster Musa Ramathan sent off in the first half after they had take the lead through Mustafa Kizza.
Just like Kizza, Frank Kalanda equalized from the spot for the visitors who offered little going forward despite playing the entire second half a man-up.
The result leaves KCCA FC in second spot, four points behind leaders Vipers SC.
Lukwago all buts costs KCCA FC league crown
KCCA FC have been arguably the best side in Ugandan football for the past five or so years.
The Kasasiros have won three of the past four league titles and head into each campaign as favourites to walk away with the crown.
They came into the game knowing that victory would see them move to with two points of league leaders Vipers SC who lost 3-1 to URA FC on Friday.
Mike Mutebi’s side started the better side, dominating possession and creating the better chances.
Kizza directed a free kick straight at Mathais Muwanga before Erisa Ssekisambu forced the custodian into a low save.
Kizza then saw an in-swinging corner tipped over by Muwanga as KCCA went in search of an opener.
It would eventually come in form of a penalty
Sadat Anaku chest-controlled a Gift Ali pass before he was brought down-in-the-area by Isa Lumu. Kizza took responsibility and sent Muwanga the wrong way to put KCCA 1-0 up.
Ssekisambu had a chance to improve the hosts’ advantage but Muwanga was on hand to push away his fierce drive.
At the stroke of half time, Lukwago happened.
The custodian who is known for his confidence on the ball, rushed off his line to meet an Express long ball, tried to be smart and was robbed of it by Kambale who played it on for Musa Doka. The lanky midfielder wrong footed Samuel Kato before seeing his goal-bound shot handled in the area by the helpless Ramthan. Referee Mashood Ssali pointed to the spot and sent Ramathan off.
After up to five minutes of stoppage, the injured Lukwago was subbed off for Ali Mwirusi who could not save Kalanda’s spot-kick as Express drew level.
In the second half, KCCA were dominant despite the man-disadvantage but were treated to half chances on numerous occasions.
Kezironi Kizito shrugged off two defender before shooting wide from just outside the area.
Substitute Muzamir Mutyaba then saw an effort pushed out for a fruitless corner by Muwanga before blasting over after he was teed up by the returning Julius Poloto.
For huge spells, striker-Anaku looked to be isolated upfront but his energy and pace was giving Express defenders loads of trouble.
Anaku was on the receiving end of KCCA’s best chance to win the game but after expertly controlling Mutyaba’s long pass and turning past Arthur Kiggundu, his goal-bound low shot was pushed out to safety by Muwanga.
Late in the contest, Gift Ali also saw a fierce drive rattle the side-netting after he was teed up by Kizza’s short corner.
It is a disappointing result in KCCA FC’s bid to win this year’s title but one that will be welcomed for the heart and performance exhibited by the 10-men.
Express fails to make man-advantage count
Express have been struggling at the wrong end of table for huge spells of the campaign.
They were forced to sack George Ssemwogerere and appoint Wasswa Bbosa in an attempt to change their fortunes.
Bbosa got off to a good start, winning his first two league games in charge.
Despite losing to Maroons FC in the cup, the general feeling among the Express faithful is that Bbosa will get the job done.
On Saturday, he started two January signings, Kiggundu and Lumu in central defence.
That looked to have been a bad idea after Lumu was guilty of bringing down Anaku in the area in the build up to Kizza’s goal.
However, they both settled down and restricted KCCA FC to just half chances for much of the game.
Express also had chances to take the lead-before conceding but were let down by poor finishing.
Kalanda headed a Disan Ggaliwango corner into the ground-and-over with Lukwago stranded.
The striker then brought down Martin Kizza cross but dragged his effort wide on the turn while under pressure from Musa Ramathan.
Cyrus Kibande who was slotted into midfield in the absence of the suspended Lawrence Kigonya then blasted over after good work down the left by Kambale.
After the sending off, Express looked contented with taking a point from the contest as they disappointingly offered very little going forward.
Ssenyondo tapped wide a Kalanda lay off and Daniel Shabena’s speculative shot from distance went wide.
Express introduced Ivan Ocholit in place of Ssenyondo to try and add more fire-power upfront but the two-goal striker looked lost throughout his time on the pitch.
In the end, the Red Eagles took home what may in the end turn out to be a vital point in their bid to escape the relegation dog-fight.
The draw means Express slumps to 11th on the log with 28 points from 23 games.
In their next fixtures, KCCA FC are away to Police FC on Tuesday while Express face Maroons in Luzira the following Thursday.
How both teams started
Charles Lukwago (GK), Filbert Obenchan, Kato Samuel, Musa Ramathan, Mustapha Kizza, Aliro Moses, Gift Ali, Erisa Sekisambu, Sadat Anaku, Keziron Kizito, Sadam Juma.
Mathias Muwanga (GK), Martin Kizza, Disan Galiwango, Arthur Kiggundu, Isa Lumu Muzeeyi, Cyrus Kibande, Frank Senyondo, Isaac Doka, Frank kalanda, Daniel Shabena, Kambale Eric.
The other games played on Saturday
-Onduparaka FC 1-1 Mbarara City FC
-Bright Stars FC 1-0 Proline FC
-Wakiso Giants FC 1-1 Kyetume FC
-Tooro United FC 2-0 Police FC
-BUL FC vs SC Villa