Vipers stumbles in race to defend title

Karim Watambala strikes the ball against BUL|Pulse Sports Image


StarTimes Uganda Premier League Champions

SUPL Vipers stumbles in race to defend title

Allan Damba 19:39 - 23.05.2023

Vipers SC lost their advantage in the race to the Uganda Premier League trophy following a one-all stalemate with BUL FC at the FUFA Technical Center, Njeru on Tuesday.

Karim Watambala netted late from the spot to deny the hosts three points, having scored earlier in the second half through Samuel Ssekamatte.

Vipers are now second with 50 points, two adrift of current leaders SC Villa, who beat Blacks Power FC 1-0 at Wankulukuku.

Both sides made a slow start, with the hosts holding tight in midfield and at the back, as the guests struggled for cohesion in the final third.

However, the Venoms threatened in the 24th minute and should have scored but Ashraf Mandela's strike was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Tom Ikara.

BUL also had a great chance to break the deadlock in the 38th minute but Reagan Kalyowa's freekick met a superb Fabien Mutombora save.

At the stroke of halftime, Yunus Sentamu should have scored, but his low shot was tamed by Ikara, to leave it leveled headed into the second half.

Despite pressure from the guests in the second half, it's the home team that scored first with Ssekamatte getting at the end of a superb Reagan Kalyowa cross to the head home.

Alex Isabirye's charges pushed for the equalizer, albeit, without significantly threatening Ikara in goal.

At the death, Yunus Sentamu was fouled in the area, for Watambala to step up and fire, what could later prove a crucial point.

The Venoms will be hoping they can win their next match against Busoga United on Saturday, but also pray Villa drops points at home to URA FC.

How they lined up

Vipers: Fabien Mutombora (GK), Isa Mubiru, Ashraf Mandela, Hilary Mukundane, Rogers Torach, Siraje Ssentamu, Karim Watambala, Bright Anukani, Milton Karisa (c), Yunus Sentamu, Cromwel Rwothomio.

Substitutions: Denis Kiggundu, Nzau Lutumba, Disan Ggaliwango, Garcia Mpongo, Martin Kizza, Karim Ndugwa.

BUL: Tom Ikara (GK), Douglas Muganga, Richard Ayiko, Ronald Otti, George Kasonko, Pascal Ngobi, Jerome Kirya, Reagan Kalyowa, Emmanuel Obua, Martin Aprem,

Samuel Sekamatte.

Substitutions: Emmanuel Kalyowa, Innocent Rwothomio, Aggrey Madoi, Ibrah Nsimbe, Ibrahim Mugulusi, Richard Wandyaka, Ivan Wani