The Venoms move to within seven points of table leaders KCCA.
(Photo credit: Vipers SC)
STARTIMES UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
By Joseph Kizza
Vipers SC started the year and life under interim head coach Michael Ouma with a goalless draw against Bright Stars FC on Saturday.
After a game of several chances at the Champions Stadium, the league's defending champions, still unbeaten this season, failed to pick up maximum points on the road that would have significantly reduced the gap with leaders KCCA FC.
Their lack of the sting they so needed meant that the Venoms could only move to within seven points of the on-form table-toppers, who put six past Police FC on Friday.
The result also meant that Bright Stars, initially placed seventh on the log, climbed to eighth place.
There was more league action elsewhere on Saturday.
URA SC picked up a point on the road in a 1-1 draw against Kirinya-Jinja SSS. Saidi Kyeyune put the visitors in front in the 39th minute before the equaliser came through a penalty tucked away by Joel Madondo four minutes into the second half.
Strugglers SC Villa were beaten 1-0 at home by BUL FC, who leapfrogged into fifth place. Theirs was an early goal - Pierre Kambale struck what would be the only goal of the game in the 15th minute.
Vipers stumble (again)
⚽️ | FULL TIME:— Vipers Sports Club (@VipersSC) January 5, 2019
It’s all over at Champions stadium in Mwererwe and there’s nothing to separate the two sides.
We had chances, but couldn't break the deadlock. pic.twitter.com/m6RTdxw51H
The Venoms parted ways with Mexican head coach Javier Martinez Espinoza exactly one week ago. For a replacement, the club did not look beyond the continent, and only craned their necks across the border to bring in Kenyan Ouma through the revolving door.
Named only a day after Martinez's sacking as caretaker head coach until the end of this season, Ouma is leading a five-strong technical team.
Before the Kenyan tactician was brought in, the holders had started off the defence of their title with four straight wins, followed by a run of draws. Last week, Tooro United broke their renewed streak of three wins with a draw at St. Mary's Stadium - Martinez's last game in charge.
With Ouma and co.'s arrival came renewed optimism, as the Kitende-based club looked to kick off the year on a high.
While a draw away from the comfort of home may seem satisfactory, it is such lacklustre results that the Lawrence Mulindwa-headed club wants to leave behind in 2018. It means the new man in charge will have to inspire his boys to turn lukewarm results into wins - somehow.
KCCA are top of the 16-team pile on 33 points while Vipers, who have played two games fewer, lie in second on 26 points.
Onduparaka FC come in third, tied on 24 points - but separated by a one-goal difference - with fourth-placed Mbarara City FC.
BUL have crept into fifth on 22 points.