URA FC climb to fifth place with victory over SC Villa while Onduparaka FC fail to return to winning ways against Bright Stars FC.
PIC: Not SC Villa's day, but it did not stop the fans from rallying fully behind their side against URA FC on Saturday. (Photo credit: StarTimes Uganda)
STARTIMES UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
|URA FC||1-0||SC Villa|
|Bright Stars FC||1-1||Onduparaka FC|
By Joseph Kizza
KAMPALA - URA FC laid a winning foundation for their premier league second round as they beat SC Villa at Namboole Stadium to climb to fifth place.
Patrick Mbowa's first half strike proved decisive in a game that had the hosts painfully lose first-choice goalkeeper James Alitho to injury halfway into the second half - the 23-year-old replaced by Nafian Alionzo.
Eventually, a winless run spanning three games was brought to an abrupt end by the tax collectors, whose victory sees them leapfrog Onduparaka FC, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Bright Stars in Saturday's other game.
For a club that endured a run of seven consecutive draws in the first half of the season, five of which were successively goalless, today's victory will feel like the joy of pay day. One of those frustrating drab results was a 0-0 against Villa. Fast-forward to present day and that should feel like eons ago for URA, who have been beaten only once in this campaign.
They are now level on points (25) with Onduparaka, who have slipped to sixth after being held at Mwererwe. Villa, meanwhile, remain on the dangerous fringes of the dreaded relegation zone, with a gulf of only two points between them and 14th-placed Nyamityobora FC.
It will register as a disappointing outing for the Jogoos, who only two days ago unveiled 13 new signings, including Yakubu Rama from Zambian side Lusaka Dynamos FC.
A stretch of two defeats and two draws from their last five game will provide head coach Douglas Bamweyana and his camp with plenty of refurbishing to get down to if they are to clear the cloud of indifferent form hanging too low for comfort over their heads.
Rusty Onduparaka fail to find Midas touch
Meanwhile, West Nile-based side Onduparaka will have their own getting back to the drawing board to do.
Four successive games now without a win is not the direction that the club, which only the other day received a huge sponsorship boost, have their sights locked on.
Playing as visitors at the Champion Stadium, they trailed 19 minutes into the game when Nelson Senkatuka lashed Bright Stars into the lead.
It was only in the 56th minute of an open game that Rashid Toha nodded Onduparaka back on level terms from a corner delivered by Caesar Okhuti. There was still enough time for the Caterpillars to complete their comeback with a winner, but chances were few and far in between.
In the end, they had to settle for a point, which did not do them any favours in the context of the table ranking. Level on points with URA, Onduparaka have only three days to regroup ahead of another tricky away fixture - against leaders KCCA FC on Tuesday.
Eighth-placed Bright Stars, whose form book makes for cringed reading, will make a trip to Villa the following day.
Meanwhile, URA will play away to Ndejje University FC on Tuesday.
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