Villa 1 KCCA 1
Masaka 0 Vipers 2
Soana 1 CRO 0
Sixteen time record Uganda League champions SC Villa found themselves a goal down in the first 9 minutes against arch-rivals and defending champions KCCA FC but a great fight back true to their spirits as the Jogoos enabled them to pull a priceless draw at Nakivubo Stadium.
Reigning league topscorer and former SC Villa player Herman Wasswa opened the scoring with a well converted penalty in the 9th minute when he was felled in a one-on-one battle with Villa custodian Martin Elongat, but SC Villa responded through Ronald Muganga in the 33rd minute with a clinical header.
Fresh from winning the Uganda Super Cup where they beat SC Victoria University last week, KCCA FC dominated play in the centre of midfield with Uganda Cranes midfielder Ivan Ntege controlling proceedings.
Midfielder Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, who skippered Uganda Cranes to qualification for the 2014 CHAN event was drafted into KCCA’s central defence with former captain Richard Malinga dropping to the bench.
Two minutes after the half hour mark Ronald Muganga was put through by veteran Hakim Magumba and got behind KCCA defenders and in the box but as he went for goal Fahad Kawooya cleared to hand Villa their first corner in the game.
After a first half of not too many chances, the game move over to the second phase where KCCA arguably had the best of chances to claim the game, but in all the occasions were denied by steady SC Villa keeper Elongat while substitute Mike Birungi’s shoot hit the woodwork.
Moments later loanee forward William Wadri sneaked back in the box four minutes later but this time Elongat who had struggled in the first half picked out his attempt for the far post. Three minutes on, KCCA were in foul play but Muganga broke though when a lob could have been good to deliver a goal, intelligent Nicholas Sebwato picked out his effort to save Jenifer Musisi’s side from conceding once again.
“The result is satisfactory because we got a priceless point against a young and fast Villa team,” KCCA boss George Best Nsimbe told us.
“We did not play the way we were supposed to play but a point against a home team is a big statement,” he added.
But new SC Villa tactician Steven Bogere was not content with the result.
“We had clear-cut chances. Muganga could have turned the match upside down if he had scored,” Bogere told Red Pepper Online.
“The team will gel with time,” he added optimistically.
“We have prepared well and hoped to start with a win. We did not underrate KCCA, those guys are defending champions,” Villa skipper Ayub Kisalita said.
KCCA: Sebwato Nicholas, Saka Mpune, Kavuma Habib, Hassan Wasswa, Kawooya Fahd, Ntege Ivan, Brian Majwega, Masiko Tom, Herman Wasswa, Steven Bengo, William Wadri.
SC Villa: Elungat Martin, Jjuko Yusuf, Lwanga Sula, Kabanda Mike, Ayub Kisalita, Isaac Kirabira, Sembatya Godfrey, Hakim Magumba, Kalyoowa Emma, Sigali Jamal, Muyanja Ronald.
The other matches played on Friday Masaka LC, who finished ninth last season conceded twice in the first half against Nigerian coach Duru Chukuma’s Vipers FC at recreation ground in Masaka while Soana beat fellow newbies CRO 1-0 in Kavumba.