Mbale Heroes and Kataka fired blanks In a FUFA Big League game at Mbale Municipal Stadium as the two city rivals played out a barren draw in a well attended local derby.
Both sides had some chances to score, mostly in the first half, but couldn’t utilise any. In the second half, the visitors, like the hosts were all playing rather cautiously..
Mbale Heroes had upto seven new players in the starting eleven, as Abu Ssentongo, Abdul Bironse, Adrian Sserugo, Simon Okot, Isaaya Sabiiti, Dan Shabena, and Eric Mutebi were all handed their full debuts.
For the visitors, centreback Imulla Okello was handed his full debut, as other new additions Michael Olinga, Ali Mugaya, Herbert Katongole, Emmanuel Ocen, and Francis Mukasa started on the bench.
Right from the first whistle, the situation was tense, as was expected, with both sides searching for an early opener, amidst too much physicality with hard tackles flying allover.
Sabiiti attempted Heroes’ first shot in the eighth minute, but his effort from 16 yards didn’t pay off as the ball went way over the bar.
Three minutes after, Zaake was brought down at the edge of the box, but the resultant free-kick was wasted, as Swamad Okur tried to find Bosco Munyolo who couldn’t keep the ball in control.
The Surgeons got so close to scoring in the 24th minute, but Solomon Okello denied Akram Muzanyi who had headed in from close range. The striker connected Abu Ssentongo’s well weighted cross from the right, but the keeper did so well with his quick reflex to stop him.
After half an hour played, Sabiiti once again got a shooting opportunity in the penalty area, but aimed at it with so much power, eventually failed to connect his left foot with the ball.
A minute after, Latif Ssenkubuge mistimed a header to miss another scoring opportunity for the home side.
Towards the end of the first half, Steven Namaisi, who had had a rather silent first 40 minutes surfaced with his long throws. The right back hurled in two dangerous balls from either flank, but both attempts couldn’t be utilised as the ball went begging across the goal area.
Namaisi was the first to go into the referees booked, as he was shown a yellow card just two minutes after the restart for a high boot on Sabiiti.
Later on in the second half, Sabiiti for the home side, plus Hassan Wadenga and Herbert Katongole for the visitors were all booked respectively.
After fifty minutes, Olinga replaced Munyolo as the search for the opening goal intensified, and katongole would later come on for Zaake in the 75th minute.
The home side also introduced Gerald Ogweti, Shafik Kwikiriza and Brian Wamakale at once, for Muzanyi, Okot and Nkolo after an hour played. Herbert Kibirango replaced Sabiiti in the 78th minute, while John Ssekyaaya came on for Mutebi.
Ssenkubuge had his bouncing header slightly go past the post as he almost got the opener for Kataka in the 90th minute.
A super save from goalkeeper Okello to deny Kwikiriza in the third and very last minute of stoppage time all but saved a precious point for Kataka.
The result now sends Mbale Heroes to tenth position, as Kataka move to nineth position on the 15-team table.
Mukono-based side Kyetume is leading the table after scoring three goals against Kiyinda Boys, as newly promoted Kigezi Homeboys, who conceded twice without reply away to Calvary sit bottom of the table.
Over the weekend, Mbale Heroes will take a long trip away to Western Uganda, as they visit Kigezi Homeboys at Kabale Municipal Stadium on Sunday, 1st October.
Meanwhile, on the same date as the Surgeons will be away from Mbale, Kataka will host Blacks Power at the Mbale Municipal Stadium.
How both teams lined up:
Mbale Heroes Starting XI; Paul Mujampwani, Abu Ssentongo, Abdul Bironse, Adrian Sserugo, Godfrey Lubangakene, Simon Okot, Isaaya Sabiiti, Dan Shabena, Akram Muzanyi, Eric Mutebi and Blaise Nkolo.
Subs; Didi Muhamamed, Brian Wamakale, George William Kalyowa, Gerald Ogweti, Shafik Kwikiriza, John Ssekyaaya and Herbert Kibirango.
Kataka XI; Solomon Okello, Noah Kizito, Imulla Okello, Stephen Namaisi, Hassan Wadenga, Lazarus Ocire, Latif Ssenkubuge, Swamad Okur, Junior Zaake, Bosco Munyolo and Markus Aka.
Subs; Ali Mugaya, Joel Baba Onziku, Herbert Katongole, Emmanuel Ocen, Muhammad Biafulo, Michael Olinga and Francis Mukasa.