Clinical Mutanda leaves Red Eagles clueless and claw-less
NAMBOOLE | Bashir Mutanda. Cynical. Clinical. Predatory. And the perfect goal machine. Yet these are not enough superlatives to describe the player Vipers SC discarded as surplus to requirements, a player who has scored at least a goal in the last six games, and a player Express FC fans will have nightmares about throughout the festive season.
The Red Eagles walked onto the Namboole pitch buoyed by the big result midweek when they outplayed table leaders and deep pockets KCCA FC and could not have been happier when their U19 Eaglets picked, pecked and dressed Villa’s chicks with a 4-0 thrashing.
But for all intent and purpose, Bashir Mutanda would have none of it once referee William Oloya got the game rolling. His finishing, for both goals, bordered on the cynical; simply insane.
Uganda Cranes technical team wouldn’t even need to watch him or those goals, or his goal return — they just have to feel him — to know how crucial he would be for the national team.
Express had made the better shout for goals and should have been 2-0 up if not for lackluster display in the final third and paid dearly for scuffing on the goal liine when David Owori’s desperate pull back after beating Ronald Mutebi in goal fell to Mutanda at the edge of the box.
The striker, who has let it known that he dreams of golden boot, controlled with his right and, as the ball flicked up, fired a powerful volley with his left, the ball hitting the roof of the net long before Mutebi had left the carpet to find out what had happened.
Like they would never have imagined their arch rivals going ahead at all, the goal simply drained the Red Eagles, whose central midfield appeared to have no answers to Villa’s.
The second half, like the first, started with Express having more balls in the Villa final third but goalkeeper Samuel Kivumbi could swear he had more time being bothered by the green bib he had to wear because his shirt clashed with FC’s white top than with the goal attempts or excuses thereof.
Yet there was hope that despite the obvious day-off by Tony Odur and Eric Kambale with Ibrahim Kayiwa and Mubarak Nsubuga all low on mugs, Express could score any time against a Villa side that was yet to win at home, a side just a point above the drop zone.
That hope probably gave false confidence in captain Isaac Mutanga, who inexplicably tried to go around Villa’s wing back Patrick Ndahiro when he had all of three team mates in better positions to play up. Ndahiro dispossessed and nutmegged the defender, before finding Mutanda with a perfectly weighted ball in the box.
The talismanic striker made Mutanga pay dearly, finding the roof of the net with his right foot. A Mutanga in contrition, and another Mutanda with arms spread like a flying Cock — if cocks fly anyway. The blue half of Namboole went wild as the reality dawned on the red half that Douglas Bamweyana meant business at Villa Park.
With nine goals from 12 games, Mutanda has pulled clear of Kirinya JSS’s Joel Madondo (7). Kirinya JSS host BUL on Sunday in Jinja derby.
The victory sees the Jogoos leapfrog Maroons, who went down 1-0 to Tooro United, into 12th while coach Bamweyena maintains his good start at Villa Park with two wins and as many draws since taking over from Moses Basena.
Express, who missed the services of attacking midfielder Michael Birungi who was fated to both suspension and groin injury on his 24th birthday, remain ninth with 16pts.
The Red Eagles made the sombre journey back to Wankulukuku with the consolation that their Eaglets obliteration Villa’s junior two hours before the two Mutandas had opposite ideas of the beautiful game.
In the other game of the day, Nyamityobora finally won under Ben Misagga’s leadership after tucking to bed Ndejje University with 2-0 win.