Friday, May 5
•Vipers 1-0 KCCA FC
Milton Karisa grabbed a late winner as Vipers beat rivals KCCA in an ill-fated Uganda Premier League thriller under St Mary’s Stadium Kitende floodlights.
There were ugly scenes at fulltime when KCCA players and officials surrounded Referee Mashood Ssali, and during a melee, KCCA striker Simon Kankonde punched the referee who consequently showed him a red card.
Kankonde continued to remain animated before he was later restrained off the pitch by his angry teammates.
The fight was unfortunately an inevitable climax to an eventful affair that was billed as a title decider.
The heat was boiling throughout the contest – Vipers goalkeeping coach Ibrahim Mugisha was earlier sent off for kicking Geoffrey Wasswa after a brawl erupted following a Mustafa Mujuzi challenge nearer to Vipers bench.
KCCA interim coach Jackson Mayanja was booked after confrontation with Fourth official Shamirah Nabbadda.
KCCA duo of Mujuzi and Geoffrey Wasswa were lucky to escape red cards.
But KCCA will feel hard done by the fact that they had a penalty appeal wrongly waved.
The decisive moment arrived when Martin Kizza, after receiving a short corner, had his effort headed out by Denis Iguma for Karisa to score from a loose ball.
Vipers On Course To Defending League Title
The win puts Vipers in pole position to defend the league title.
The Venoms moved second, level on 45 points with KCCA and just a point behind SC Villa.
But the Venoms have a game in hand on KCCA and two on leaders SC Villa.
Against KCCA, they were the second best for extended stretches but remained solid at the back despite their short comings up front without Yunus Sentamu.
And when their chance arrived, Karisa took it with open hands to send the home fans, including St Mary’s SS students, into wild celebrations.
Their fixture is however not that simple on paper – Their next game is against Bright Stars on Tuesday at Kavumba before taking a long trip to Onduparaka.
Then they welcome Express at Kitende, visit BUL at Njeru (former Alex Isabirye’s team) before ending the season with Busoga United at home.
It’s Vipers’ title to lose.
KCCA Have Themselves To Blame
KCCA left Kitende with a bitter taste and a couple including coach Jackson Mayanja feel Referee Mashood Ssali was to blame for the result.
In fact, during the after-match press conference, Mayanja said that: “The best team lost, I want to put it on Camera and I will not fear anyone – Mr Mashood is a problem.”
But Mayanja, when pinned by the media, couldn’t break down the incidents where he thought Mashood got wrong, and lost his temper before having an exchange with the press.
On a fair judgement, Mashood handled the game properly, and KCCA will have themselves to blame for failing to use their chances.
Allan Okello rattled the woodwork, and he later fluffed a keeper-to-beat chance.
And until those two incidents, Okello was a pedestrian just like Moses Waiswa. But Mayanja couldn’t ring changes to bring in fresh legs.
And at this stage, such is punished just like Vipers did and they got to learn it the hard way.
KCCA will visit Express next Saturday, before BUL (H), Busoga United (A) and Bright Stars (H).
Vipers – Fabien Mutombora, Ashraf Mandela, Issa Mubiru, Rogers Torach, Hillary Mukundane, Siraje Sentamu, Miguel Nzau Lutumba, Milton Karisa, Abubakar Lawal, Karim Ndugwa, Martin Kizza
KCCA – Benjamin Ochan, Denis Iguma, Filbert Obenchan, Mustafa Mujuzi, Geoffrey Wasswa, Mustafa Kizza, Saidi Mayanja, Moses Waiswa, Allan Okello, Simon Kankonde, Rogers Mato
Best article about yesterday’s game