Vipers Frustrated In League Opener

Friday, September 30
*Vipers 0-0 Bright Stars

Saturday, October 1
•Blacks Power Vs BUL – 2pm (Akibua Stadium, Lira)
•KCCA Vs Wakiso Giants – 4pm (Omondi Stadium, Lugogo)
•Maroons Vs Busoga United – 4pm (Luzira Prisons)
•UPDF Vs Express – 4pm (Bombo Military Grounds)
•URA Vs Onduparaka – 4pm (Nakisunga Ssaza, Mukono)

Sunday, October 2
•SC Villa Vs Gaddafi – 2pm (Muteesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku)

Vipers started their Uganda Premier League title defense with a goalless draw against Bright Stars on Saturday at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.

Coach Roberto Oliveira’s charges looked rusty for extended stretches and struggled to create clear chances.

And it’s a point earned for Coach Asaph Mwebaze and his boys, as the gaffer made a sounding return to UPL touchline since 2019.

Winger Lumala Abdu, playing in the Uganda Premier League for the first time, looked the best possible source for Vipers goal.

But his brilliant delivery couldn’t be turned in by Yunus Ssentamu, Bright Anukani and Abubaker Lawal at different intervals.

Lumala also tried to take matters into his own hands, but his effort was saved by Hassan Matovu.

Matovu also kept out Ssentamu’s powerful effort and Vipers’ spell of sustained attack failed to yield fruits.

Bright Stars had some share of chances, with their best falling to new Signing Amis Muwonge but his header off Ibrahim Kasinde’s well weighed ball collected by goalkeeper Alfred Mudekereza.

Vipers switch focus to their CAF Champions League second preliminary round first leg tie against TP Mazembe next week.

Poor Rehearsals For TP Mazembe

It’s not a result and performance expected of a defending champion.

But they have less than seven days to face TP Mazembe.

Bright Stars revealed more work for Coach Robertinho who must get his acts right if they are to pick something against an African Powerhouse.

Without Bobosi Byaruhanga, it’s like the Venoms are going for a double pivot of Siraje Sentamu and Olivier Osombo.

And Vipers lacked fluency in the middle of the park while Bright Anukani could not thread a good pass to free Yunus up front.

Consequently, much burden was left on Milton Karisa and Lumala to create the chances, but the former had a quiet day.

Lumala had good moments in the game but he is still a diamond in the sand.

He used his pace to beat Jonathan Odongo on the right, before a well weighed delivery that was headed out by Yunus.

The Winger picked Anukani at near post but skewed wide with a keeper already beaten. He was later denied by goalkeeper Hassan Matovu when he went for power.

He created the other good chance when he found substitute and debutant Abubakar Lawal but the Nigerian forward could not connect.

Cromwell Rwothomio was also brought in and Yunus dropped back, but all couldn’t yield fruits.

Marvin Joseph Youngman was left on the bench, as it was against Bangui, but coach Robertinho may need him going in future games.

Bright Stars Impress

Coach Asaph Mwebaze’s reign started off on a good note and his side promises to be a one to watch out for.

He wants to play good football and if we are to go with what was showcased at Kitende, there are glimpses of a good team in Bright Stars.

And they did it without some starters including captain Nelson Ssenkatuka and Simon Ssemayange.

A couple of debutants like Noordin Bunjo had good flashes and the same can be said of the rest of the players including Ashraf Mulindi and Alex Mandera.

This team finished 11th with 36 points, and I’d they picked a point at Vipers even without Coach Mwebaze in the week leading to the match, the sky cannot be the limit.

But whether they can replicate this performance week in week out, remains to be seen.

What Next – Vipers will face TP Mazembe on Sunday in CAF Champions League, with the date for their supposed match-day II tie against Wakiso Giants to be communicated late. Bright Stars return to action on Tuesday against Maroons at Kavumba on Tuesday.

Players Used

Vipers – Alfred Mudekereza, Milton Karisa, Dissan Galiwango, Livingstone Mulondo, Siraje Ssentamu, Bright Anukani, Yunus Ssentamu, Murushid Juuko, Ashraf Mandela, Lumala Abdu, Olivier Osomba

Substitutes – Fabien Mutombora, Marvin Youngman, Abubakar Lawal, Hillary Mukundane, Cromwell Rwothomio, Isa Mubiru, Najib Yiga

Bright Stars – Hassan Matovu, Andrew Kyambadde, Warren Buule, Noordin Bunjo, Ashraf Mulindi, Samuel Ssenyonjo, Denis Kaka Omony, Muhammad Kyeyune, Jonathan Gift Odongo, Cleophas Fiat, Alex Mandela

Substitutes – Ibrahim Kasinde, Amos Muwonge, Yasin Mugume, Jafari Kizito, Sharif Nsereko, Emmanuel Were



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