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Talking points from UPL Match Day Two

FOOTBALL | At least 15 of the 16 Premier League teams have tasted more than 90 minutes into the new season after Tuesday and Wednesday encounters.

Express FC finally kicked off their season with a 0-0 draw against Sam Ssimbwa’s URA FC. Just like most of the teams that hosted match day one, the Red Eagles started with confusion as the match was delayed by about half an hour as the centre referee William Oloya demanded to have the presence of the policemen as required by the law.

Interestingly, or rather ironically, there was a sizeable number of UPDF soldiers who have been camping at Wankulukuku stadium for over a fortnight. But not police.

Here are other points from match day two that are shaping discussions;

Kirinya show intent

A draw off KCCA FC at Lugogo left the Jinja side in the bottom half of the table after Match day two but the result is far from just that.

The team has been on the receiving end in the last three games against the eleven-time champions. But this time they combined their attacking and defensive strategies to earn a point off the league favourites.

The school boys could have won the game had they utilised their numerous first half chances.

“There is something that team [Kirinya] is doing right. They are an emerging force that you cannot underestimate. They also have a very good and pragmatic coach. If you see a team like that one talking about the title, then you can’t rubbish them off because they are serious,” KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi said before the draw.

Onduparaka repays Villa; Basena has more work to do

Asaph Mwebaze is enjoying his explosive start at Onduparaka. A convincing 2-0 win over Nyamityobora was followed by a massive 1-0 win away to SC Villa at Namboole.

The win is more than the three points; Last season, Villa broke the Caterpillars virginity at the Greenlight Stadium, a result that led to coach Livingstone Mbabazi’s exit. The Jogoos had beaten Onduparaka in all three previous last league meetings.

The loss and overall performance means only one thing for the new Villa head Coach Moses Basena; that he has his work cut out.

Though the veteran coach insists they are on a rebuilding process, a time will come when the impatient blue army will start demanding answers. Villa dropped a 2-1 lead in Jinja last Friday to draw 2-all and then succumbed to Rashid Toha’s second-minute free kick on Tuesday.

Maroons can’t buy new nets

It was an awkward and rather disappointing moment when Moses Waiswa curled in a free kick for Vipers’ winning goal against Maroons but instead, the post-match talks were diverted to the worn out nets at Luzira. Reason being: the brilliantly-taken kick rose above the three-man wall, flew beyond Ashadu Bugembe’s stretching arms, crossed the goal line but then sneaked out through the poor side net.

Social media commentators labelled the goal “controversial” basing on the poor quality videos that were later released by Sanyuka TV, a partner to the league broadcasters StarTimes.

Debutants off the mark

Apart from Nyamityobora who surrendered a 2-0 half-time lead to lose 3-2 to Bright Stars at their new home in Wankulukuku, the other two debutants Ndejje University and Paidha Black Angels grabbed their first wins.

Paidha came from a goal down to beat the Cops 2-1 in Arua in front of a capacity-crowd as Ndejje edged Mbarara City 1-0. Both sides lost their opening games on away.

Bright Stars mean business

For the second match in a row, the Kawempe-based side scored three goals. They had never done so in their previous seasons in the topflight.

In fact, the last time they scored three goals was in a November 2016. But this time, Coach Fred Kajoba promised to dump his old defensive to an industrious attacking style.

That was evident in the second half when he brought in Henry Kiwanuka, Methodius Jungu and Brian Kayanja at two goals down and won the match 3-2 on away.

By the end of the day, the Stars were on top of the table while their captain and striker Nelson Senkatuka was leading the scorers’ chart with three goals in two games.

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