Ndejje University beat Tooro United in a seven-goal thriller, Onduparaka pick up three points against Mbarara City while BUL and Villa make do with a share of the spoils.
STARTIMES UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
|Ndejje University||4-3||Tooro Utd|
By Joseph Kizza
The three matches played Wednesday evening produced an aggregate goal galore - 12 altogether. But it was not a balanced affair in the goal factory as more than half of this lot were produced from the Arena of Visions, where hosts Ndejje University FC edged Tooro United FC in a seven-goal thriller.
At Kakyeka Stadium in Mbarara, home side Mbarara City FC allowed Onduparaka FC to claw back in the game and take home three points. And at FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru, BUL FC denied visitors SC Villa the maximum points in a 1-1 result.
Here is a breakdown of the three games:
Villa fail to rise
Victory would have lifted Villa to 10th place of the table. At least temporarily. A draw, on the other hand, would keep them in 12th. So after 45 minutes of the opening half against BUL, the visitors seemed to have stuck to the former script, thanks to Pius Wangi's goal right at half time that provided the perfect pedestal for a positive outcome.
But it was always going to be a precariously delicate lead - so much that it was soon snuffed out in the 68th minute when James Otim capitalised on a defensive mixup to level proceedings in Njeru.
Villa had hoped to inflict a measure of revenge on BUL, who had just lost to KCCA FC in their last game, after suffering a 1-0 defeat when the two sides last met in the first round. But that was not to be, as the Jinja-based side, currently in 4th, flung a spanner into Villa's hard work in the shape of a two-game winning streak.
The Jogoo had last enjoyed resurgent wins over defending champions Vipers SC and Paidha Black Angels but that pattern was interrupted by a BUL side who are trying to keep up with leading pack.
Next up, BUL will be away at Nyamityobora FC exactly a week from today while Villa will host Police FC the same day (Wednesday).
Onduparaka's long-awaited win, Mbarara waste chance to go second
The last time these two sides met, Onduparaka were reduced to nine men, as forward Karim Ndugwa and goalkeeper Ali Kimera were sent off in a drab 0-0 result.
This time around, the Caterpillars were determined to put to bed a forgetable seven-match winless run, which had seen them draw four times and lose thrice. Eventually, the Arua-based side picked up the long-awaited maximum points against a Mbarara City side that had not been beaten in 10 successive games.
But the visitors had to fall behind first, then reconstruct themselves, before launching a spirited comeback to grind out a much-needed result.
Hillary Mukundane gave Mbarara the lead after 20 minutes from a well delivered corner. With a half-time lead, the hosts returned from the break buoyed by a resounding start. But Rashid Toha gave them something to think about with a 54th-minute headed strike to level matters.
Caeser Okhuti then completed Onduparaka's comeback 13 minutes before time with what would eventually register as the winning goal. Three vital points for the Caterpillars, who leapfrog URA FC into 5th place. Mbarara remain in third, but defeat means they could lose ground on leaders KCCA and Vipers, who have each played a game less. It also means that Mbarara squandered an opportunity to climb into the second spot ahead of Vipers' game with Bright Stars FC on Friday.
The result further means that Mbarara's impressive unbeaten home run has come to an end.
Next up, Mbarara will hope to recover away against Kirinya-Jinja SSS on Tuesday while Onduparaka will see if they can build on their win at home against Vipers. A cracker of a game the latter promises to be!
Ndejje refuse to go down without a fight
Honestly, I did not see this result coming. Seven goals? Oh deary me!
In the first round, Tooro United edged Ndejje University 1-0, which was on the 4th day of this year, also coming at a time when Ndejje had not had a sniff of victory in eight straight games.
But who knew the university side still had some fight in their blood? Evidence of such spirit poked its nose through to the surface last week with a 1-0 away victory against Maroons FC, effectively bringing to an end a run of 13 games without a win.
Wednesday's victory - a second in a row - will help Ndejje to build the sort of body of evidence that can convince their sceptics to have a change of mind about their ability to keep afloat and avoid relegation. The result means they are only two points adrift of safety and if they keep knocking hard on the door, and Maroons continue slipping up, survival might just be a reality.
Against Tooro United, Francis Onekalit scored twice within the opening 11 minutes to give them a dominant, bright start. But Ndejje captain Ronald Odokonyero turned the ball into his own net to pull one back for the visitors at the half-hour mark.
Mahad Yaya Kakooza struck three minutes before the break to bring the tie back on level terms. But an Anwar Ntege well-struck penalty in first half stoppage time restored Ndejje's lead.
Odokonyero then made amends for his first half blunder with a fourth goal for the home side 11 minutes before full time to put the game well beyond the visitors, so much so that Simon Sserunkuuma's very late goal - Tooro's third - could not change the final result. A huge win for Ndejje!
Wednesday's was Tooro's first defeat in nine games - after registering three consecutive draws of identical 1-1 result, two of them at home. They had last lost to Mbarara City in December and had since then managed to hold teams on their travels, first drawing at Vipers and then at Kirinya.
Next up, Ndejje will attempt to maintain their stride when they host Express FC on Tuesday while Tooro United will hope to bounce back with a first win in five games against Bright Stars the following day.
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