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Bam lifts gloom on Jogoos as SC Villa get one over Misagga

FOOTBALL | SC Villa always visit Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku, expecting a hostile reception, but on Friday, the Jogoos stomped their most dreaded ground with a different certainty in mind: picking their first victory of the season.

And pick, they did, pipping unsettled debutant Nyamityobora FC to put a shine on their worst start to the league during which they went 720 minutes without a win.

Languishing in the relegation zone with just four points from eight league outings, Bashir Mutanda was the man who stepped forward to account for SC Villa’s day when, against the run of play, Calvin Bani was adjudged to have handled in the box.

The midfielder made no mistake from the spot in a game that will be remembered for the many roses and thorns it served, from the pitch to the technical area and all the way to the boardrooms.

Douglas Bamweyana was last week handed the reins to pick the Jogoos from the decrepit sewer that has been threatening to stink on them all season.

The former Express FC tactician was back ‘home’ with a different cast of warriors from the red ones he led prior, sending out the Blues to hunt for the victory at Wankulukuku.

The omens couldn’t have been any better for Bamweyana. First game of a big weight on his shoulder at a ground he once called home, against a restless team struggling for identity, a team whose manager fits the bill of ‘unsettled’.

And that is not all. Asaph Mwebaze might be unsettled having flirted with Maroons, Onduparaka and now Nyamityobora, all within a calendar year, but it is the man who hired him to manage the Ankole side that gobbled the headlines for all the maverick reasons ahead of this fixture.

Ben Misagga, until last summer SC Villa supremo, found himself as president and director at Nyamityobora in September. And in those two months, the motor-mouthed football administrator has been quite a character on Twitter–where he apparently holds his Nyamityobora office from, if his tweets are anything to go by.

At SC Villa, Misagga superintended over a reign of leadership confusion, division among fans and loss of consistency on the pitch. But SC Villa was never what they turned into once he quit acrimoniously in July. In a way, his “perfect imperfection”–as Katongole Kiwanuka calls it, was ‘working.’

He didn’t leave that attribute at Villa Park but carried it to western Uganda where he courted the fury of league coaches association with the manner in which he sacked and ridiculed former coach James Odoch.

Replacing him with Mwebaze, Misagga praised his new coach as a man who knew what he was doing unlike the “one with cassava money for motivating players.”

But football is played on the pitch, not on Twitter or in signing ceremonies with new managers. Misagga found this out when facing his struggling former side.

While SC Villa are struggling, the appointment of Bamweyena and his technical team, in Wall Street speak, raised the club’s stock prices. The gloom that shrouded the fans was lifted.

It wasn’t the same for Nyamityobora where the stock would have plummeted on the USE with the maverick manner of sacking James Odoch.

But where there is no Wall Street and USE, there is a pitch and the ball to decide the stocks. At Wankulukuku, the result showed that SC Villa traded better and they moved from relegation to 11th on the log, while Nyamityobora remains rooted at the foot of the table.

Cops milk Mbarara

Elsewhere at StarTimes Stadium Lugogo in the only other league fixture on Friday, Police FC had no sympathies for the travelling party of Mbarara City.

The westerners arrived in Kampala brimming with much confidence having only a fortnight ago celebrated hitting the league summit, but Police wouldn’t hear of that.

Winger Juma Balinya did the most damage in impounding the milk Mbarara was trading on the pitch in terms of determined showing.

Having extended the lead Pius Kaggwa gifted the Cops when he pounced on failed clearances from Mbarara’s hesitant defenders, the visitors fought hard to get back into the game courtesy of Ibrahim Oriti’s 65th minute thunderbolt.

Mbarara dared to dream again and were looking to at least salvage a point to keep on the heels of leaders KCCA FC and Vipers, but Balinya’s late goal impounded even that dream to lift Police to seventh with 14 points from nine outings.

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