By Samson Opus in Gulu
Mvara Kitende 0 (2) Citizen 0 (4)
Mehta SS 1 St. Julian 0
Nakaseke v SS
Kibuli SS v Masaka SS
CITIZENS High School pulled a major upset in the COPA Coca-Cola after ejecting defending champions St. Mary’s SS Kitende in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The triumph was a major highlight for the Isingiro district champions who cut out Kitende’s supply from the flanks.
Citizen’s backline manned by Junior Ainamani, Wol Makween, John Natal and Gerald Hamya shut out Kitende’s strike force to ake the game to spot kicks.
And when that dreaded moment came, the western region outfit proved better that the Wakiso giants.
Kitende who beat Arua Public 5-0 in the second round saw their dream of a record ninth title falter after Issa Mubiru blasted the opening penalty over the bar. Pius Wangi and Shafiq Kaketo converted their chances before John Mugweri also shot wide.
Citizen defender John Natal shields the ball from a Kitende forward. Photo by Samson Opus
But John Natal, Mike Kyaligonza, Isaac Olweny and Donald Mugumya proved perfect for Citizens who also saw off Mandela SS 3-2 on penalties to make it to the quarters.
Following the win, Citizen coach Ali Tabuley was perhaps the happiest man in Gulu.
“I thank my team for accepting to be patient on the ball. This is a very happy moment in my life,” he said.
“This is a big dream come true for me because I have been preparing for so long to beat Kitende. I have been following them closely, and I am happy that finally my dream has come true,” added the maverick coach.
On his prospects ahead in the tournament, Tabuley said, “it (the tournament) is still very competitive. But I pray that God should give me the title because Tabuley has fought very hard.”
In the other quarterfinal encounter, Mehta SS beat St. Julian High School Gayaza 1-0.
Citizen and Mehta await to find out their opponents in the semi-finals in a draw later on Thursday.