Friday, June 18
*UPDF 2-1 SC Villa
*Kitara 2-6 KCCA
Robert Eseru was in starring role to help UPDF FC overcome SC Villa in a Bombo derby on Friday.
Defender Joseph Nsubuga converted from the spot but his goal proved to be a consolation for visiting Villa.
Eseru, a lanky forward, headed in a lofty corner with his effort proving too high for Amir Kakomo who was standing at near post, for the opener.
Villa scored the equaliser from a controversial penalty just at the start of the second half. Muhammed Ssenoga was brought down just outside the box by Ibrahim Thembo but referee Richard Kimbowa was convinced and pointed to the spot. And Nsubuga sent his kick at the far right corner of the goal frame.
Eseru, put UPDF back ahead when he showed class with an exquisite chest control from a long ball, poked it forward to free himself from Geoffrey Wasswa before finding the net past a helpless Martin Ssenkooto in goal.
The result means that Villa has lost to UPDF twice in the league this season. Ezekiel Katende scored the only goal of the game in the first round.
UPDF moves to 8th with 37 points while SC Villa drops to 9th with 36 points after 27 games.
UPDF flourish on Kefa Kisala’s Return
This was the first game for coach Kefa Kisala since he was suspended by the club over poor performance.
His last game on the touchline was a 5-1 loss to Wakiso Giants on May 7 at Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium.
The club has been under the tutelage of Ssaka Mpiima. During that spell, they have collected two points from a possible 12.
On Friday, despite missing two leading strikers Brian Kayanja and Kalumba, UPDF managed to squeeze out maximum points on the day.
They dominated in extended stretches and could have gone up in the opening minutes when Alex Kitata beat Wasswa but his right-footed effort was denied by the goalkeeper.
They looked the second best in the second half but were organised at the back and defended in numbers to secure their first win in six games.
UPDF led the table at the end of the first round, and Kefa believes that they can still get enough points in remaining three games (Mbarara, Bright Stars and Onduparaka) to get a respectable finish.
Off field Villa Woes Reflect On Pitch
SC Villa has had financially related woes in the past this season. They suspended captain Asuman Alishe when he came out to reveal that they have gone months without pay.
This week, the preparations for the UPDF game were affected when the coaches laid down their tools in protest for delayed salaries.
All that reflected on the pitch as the side put up a disjointed performance and a ninth loss was inevitable.
Faizal Muwawu lacked ideas on the ball, the midfield was very slow to advance the ball in dangerous areas while Geoffrey Wasswa could have done better in the lead up to that UPDF second goal.
The former Vipers man had a chance to redeem himself in the closing stages but his free-kick rattled the woodwork.
They were luck to get that penalty after as the foul was committed outside the box. They tried to ask questions in the second half but lacked quality at the far end of the pitch to get an equaliser.
Pressure continues to mount for head coach Edward Kaziba whose side has one win to show in last eight games!
Even if they win their last three games (Busoga United, Kitara and Wakiso Giants), Villa cannot finish inside the top four this season after KCCA moved to 48 points with that 6-2 comeback win against relegated Kitara.
UPDF – Eric Kibowa, Bernard Muwanga, Denis Ssekitoleko, Simon Mbazira, Sam Kintu, Ibrahim Thembo, Christopher Kamagu, Issa Mubiru, Hassan Zzinda, Robert Eseru, Alex Kitata
SC Villa – Martin Ssenkooto, Joseph Nsubuga, Derrick Ndahiro, Gavin Kizito, Geoffrey Wasswa, Amir Kakomo, Muhammed Ssenoga, Emmanuel Wasswa, Faizal Muwawu, Nicholas Kabonge, Sadam Masereka