It was a game of two halves as defending champions KCCA FC beat table leaders Vipers SC to end their unbeaten run in the StarTimes Premier League at Lugogo on Saturday afternoon.
In a game billed as the country’s El Clasico because of the ever-growing rivalry between the two teams that have dominated the Ugandan league for the past seven years, each team had a fair share of the game, but the hosts took the day.
Shortly after kick-off, the defending champions showed intent at their own fortress as they made life difficult for the visitors who were only relegated to chasing shadows at Lugogo.
The Kasasiro boys could have netted a number of goals but a number of their chances as Erisa Ssekisambu dictated play in the first stanza went begging as the Vipers goalkeeper was busy all day.
It was a moment of truth in the 32nd minute, Muzamiru Mutyaba cracker hit hard the Venoms that not even their shot-stopper, Fabien Mutombora could do anything as the ball went straight to the net to send the yellow fans into frenzy at Lugogo.
KCCA continued their dominancy but it was not long when the centre referee, Brian Miiro Nsubuga blew the whistle to signal the end of the first stanza after the mandatory 45 minutes.
Vipers return to life
As the first half saw the best-attacking force(KCCA FC) dazzle panel beaters(Vipers SC), it was the other way round in the second stanza as the defending champions were only relegated to clearing away balls from their 18 yard box as they survived ruthless attacks from the Venoms.
It all started with the introduction of Allan Kayiwa to replace Innocent Wafula and the equation changed at Lugogo.
The Venoms made a number of numerous attacks that left the KCCA FC goalkeeper, Jamil Maliyamungu and the entire KCCA FC defence fighting for life.
The final whistle was a sigh of relief for the hosts but also ensured they triumphed over their noisy neighbours.
Speaking shortly after the game, KCCA FC coach, Mike Mutebi admitted it was a game of two halves for both teams at Lugogo.
“The first half display is the way KCCA FC is supposed to play but in the second half we saw the other side of how to handle pressure when under constant attack. They asked us many questions but at the end of the day it was a good result,”Mutebi said.
The gaffer said the win now gives them the rhythm to try and chase the table leaders.
For Vipers coach, Edward Golola too admitted that his boys recovered well after an average first-half performance.
“In the first half, my boys respected KCCA but in the second half we changed formation and approach but were unfortunate not to score,”Golola said.
“We have lost against a good team but it won’t derail us. We shall not lose focus.”
The win ensured KCCA FC closed the gap with the log leaders, Vipers SC to only 10 points but also ended their unbeaten run.