Cheers and tears as Uganda Premier League climaxes in style

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

There was many moments to celebrate as they were to  sorrow as the Azam Uganda Premier League season climaxed at various stadia around the country.

There was double joy along Entebbe road for Vipers and Express FC at the end of Friday.

Going into the last day, there were two battle fronts both at the top and bottom as teams fought for lifting the league title that had gone onto the wire whereas others fought for life in the top flight.

It was a day for joy at the St.Mary’s stadium .

Vipers were at loggerheads with Lugogo based KCCA FC in a battle for lifting the league title whereas Express, Masavu, Proline and UPDF were fighting relegation.

Title race

At the St.Mary’s stadium in Kitende, hosts Vipers’ quest to lift a third league title suffered a blow when UPDF shocked them with a Joseph Janjali but the hosts restored parity through a Yayo Lutimba strike on the stroke of half time.

At Namboole, defending champions KCCA FC took the lead through Allan Okello, only 26 minutes into the game but this didn’t last long as Norman Ojik levelled matters, only four minutes later.

Erisa Ssekisambu celebrates scoring for Vipers at Kitende.

The Kasasiro boys were however shocked when the law enforcement officers took the lead for the game to end 2-1 in favour of the hosts at recess.

In Kitende, Vipers would later return in the second half  raring to go and scored three times against  UPDF who died fighting but in Namboole, things did not turn out as expected as a Patrick Kaddu goal did not save them and the game ended in a two all draw .

The win by Vipers meant the Kitende based side had lifted the league title for the third time at the expense of KCCA who lost it on the last day.

Vipers SC coach Miguel Da Costa being lifted high by one of his players after guiding them to the league.

Speaking shortly after the game, Vipers head coach Miguel Da Costa applauded his staff and players for the job well done since the beginning of the season.

“It was like having a pregnancy that we started nine months ago and today we have delivered   the baby,” Da Costa said.

“My players deserve this title as the club starts a new journey a big club. I appreciate our president because he is the machine behind all this.”

Relegation

As the adage goes that don’t count chicks before they hatch, the story was the same for Proline and UPDF who went into the game expecting to survive relegation but this was not possible.

In Bugonga, Express FC that spent most of its time teetering in the drop zone surprised many who had written it off by beating home side Masavu  FC for the Red Eagles to survive plying their trade in the lower tier.

Some of the Vipers’ fans who braced the game against UPDF.

Alfred Leku ensured the Red Eagles will play in the Uganda Premier League next season.

At Lugogo, Proline FC lost to tax collectors URA 1-2 to board the relegation bus whereas UPDF was the other side not to survive the knife.

Friday games ensured Vipers won the 2017/2018  league with 65 points, four above second placed KCCA FC whereas at the bottom, UPDF, Proline and Masavu collected 29,28 and 26 points in the 14th, 15th and 16th positions and did not survive the knife.

 

 

 

 

 

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