Tuesday, March 8
•Gaddafi 1-1 Express
Express FC’s surge to return to the winning column hit a dead end with a 1-1 draw away to Gaddafi on matchday 20.
The Red Eagles will however take a point having trailed at Gaddafi Arena for most part of the game in an eventful early kickoff.
Charles Musiige spared Express blushes when he was at the end of a lofty Joseph Akandanwaho cross to head in an 80th minute equaliser.
Gaddafi FC took the lead through Paul Musamali who whipped in a freekick to leave goalkeeper Denis Otim rooted on his ground in the 14th minute.
And the Soldier Boys wasted a golden opportunity to double the lead before the break when Umar Kyeyune sent his penalty kick onto the post after a reckless foul by Murushid Juuko on Richard Basangwa.
Referee Lucky Kasalirwa created the main talking points after wrongly failing to award a penalty at either side.
Express are winless in their last six games in the league and remain sixth with 31 points.
Gaddafi will rue missed chances on the day but move to 26 points after 20 games.
What Now For Abject Express?
Express are currently 12 points behind leaders Vipers, a lead which is expected to be stretched if the Venoms win at Tooro United.
It has been a quick decline for the Red Eagles who looked Indomitable last season as they won the league before sweeping the CECAFA Kagame Cup as well.
The capitulation has been highlighted by a recent chastening period that saw the side part ways with coach Wasswa Bbosa over a couple of issues.
But ever since then, they have looked a shadow of themselves!
A loss away to Busoga United ushered in James Odoch and the side needed a late equaliser against KCCA at Wankulukuku.
It was the same story at Gaddafi Arena as a disjointed Express side turned out on the day.
They struggled to possess the ball and their attempts to force attacks through the wings was in vain.
And what followed was a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes at the back.
Mahad Yaya Kakooza was reckless when Express conceded a freekick which Musamali converted.
Later on, Murushid Juuko hurtled into Basangwa for Kasalirwe to point to the spot, but Gaddafi failed to extend the lead while Express defence was no where when James Otim also failed to score from an effort ricocheted from the spot.
Akandanwaho had a good chance to level matters but his attempted flick off George Senkaaba’s good delivery saw the ball just go in between his legs!
But the Red Eagles will feel hard done by referee Kasalirwe’s decision not to award them a penalty after Isaac Isinde blocked an effort with his hand in the forbidden area.
And when their opportunity arrived, Musiige picked his moment of quality to power in a header to help Express leave Jinja with a point to show, at least.
This looks like a dead season already for Express, but what happens from now until the end of the season may set the platform for next season.
Gaddafi Rues Missed Chances
Gaddafi put themselves in a good position to hand the fans a big win when they took an early lead, but the failed to capitalise on Express FC’s sluggishness to kill off the game.
The decision to let Umar Kyeyune take the penalty will be another debate, but they also had another penalty appeal turned down in the second half.
Isa Lumu brought down Seif Batte in the area at the hour mark but the referee wrongly looked away.
But there were some outstanding performers including Basangwa who was explosive from the right flank.
Gaddafi are not yet safe from the drop, but sitting nine points above the red zone at this stage for a debutant provides a sigh of relief.
What Next – Gaddafi host Tooro United on April 1 while Express will welcome BUL on March 31 at Wankulukuku
Gaddafi FC – Paul Mujapani, Jamaldine Buchochera, Bakali Magumba, Isaac Isinde, Umar Kyeyune, Franco Onen, James Otim, Richard Basangwa, Ronald Bithum, Seif Batte
Substitutes- Abdul Magada, Sula Mpanga, Naziru Serwadda, Charles Ssebutinde, Amos Kirya, Brian Kalumba, Alex Kitata
Express FC – Denis Otim, Isa Lumu, Enock Walusimbi, Arthur Kiggundu, Daniel Shabena, Mahad Yaya Kakooza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Joseph Akandanwaho, Eric Kambale, George Ssenkaaba
Centre: Kasalirwe Lucky
AR1: Katenya Ronald
AR2: Ssekayuba Fahad
4th official: Naigaga Habibah
Assessor: Adipo Catherine.