A nerving penalty shootout end in Express reigning supreme over the 2014 Cup champions.
PIC: Action between Express (red) and URA on Tuesday. (Credit: Fred Kyambadde)
Express FC advanced to the semi-finals of the Uganda Cup after seeing off URA FC in a penalty shootout in Lugazi.
Yaya Mahad Kakooza had canceled out URA forward Allan Munaaba’s opener during normal time in a thrilling quarter-final tie at Mehta Stadium.
After 90 minutes of play found no winner, the game was thrust into another half-hour for extra-time. That period still produced no victor with both sides still tied.
A nerving penalty shootout ended in Express reigning supreme over the 2014 Cup champions 6-5 to join Sadolin Paints FC and FUFA Big League side Paidha Black Angels in the last-four.
The winner between Police FC and KCCA FC in the fourth quarter final meeting will take the final semi-final spot.
KCCA, who have had a busy continental football schedule, only played Kataka FC on Tuesday in a Uganda Cup Round of 16 tie, going on to advance thanks to a 5-2 victory.
At Mehta Stadium, Express goalkeeper was the hero of the day after saving three penalties including Jimmy Lule’s and Julius Ntambi’s.
Red Eagles’ Vincent Onyebuchi and Allan Kyambadde also missed their penalties.
It was an emotional dismissal for URA who had taken the lead in the second half after a balanced opening half affair that had seen both sides launch attack after attack.
Kyambadde had come close to drawing first blood but his indecision in front of goal, with only URA goalkeeper Mathias Muwanga to beat, cost him.
On the other end, Bokota Labama also failed to beat keeper Emmanuel Opio on the pounce.
After the interval, Munaaba nodded home from a Feni Ali free-kick to give the Taxmen the lead. But seven minutes to time, Kakooza struck the level to ensure another 30 minutes of playing and eventually the penalty shootout.
Express FC coach Matia Lule was delighted that his team was through but did not overlook his side’s wastefulness in front of goal. “I cannot decide which team to play in the semifinals but we shall be focused on the league game we have on Friday against the team we have dumped out of the Uganda Cup.”
URA FC coach Ibrahim Kirya blamed his side’s defeat on wasted chances at goal.
Next up, the two sides will return their focus on the Premier League, with Express hosting URA on Friday. URA (39) are three places adrift of Express (36) on the table, but the Taxmen have played one game more.