Nusfu Football Quarterfinal 1
Maroons and Kampala University’s Abel Eturudde missed a penalty as the East African and Uganda Universities’ reigning champions were bundled out of the ongoing Inter-University Games at Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono organised by National University Sports Federation of Uganda (Nusfu).
After the game ended in a 3-3 tie following 90 minutes of regulation no overtimes, UCU won 5-4 on penalty kicks to advance.
The Maroons player impressed Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic when he was picked to train as part of the University League select, and played in a practice game against FSL select in November as Cranes prepared to face Rwanda in a friendly was the missed the decisive spot kick.
The first quarterfinal of matchday four started late after UCU players refused to play protesting the Local Oragnising Committee’s technical board failing to pass a judgement on Kampala University players Andrew Ssekabonbya (SC Villa) and Martin Kigonya (Soana FC) reported by group-mates Kampala International University.
The game later started just before a half past 10 am when UCU coach Jackson Nyiima allowed his side to play a ‘protest game’ though KIU who had failed to make the quarterfinals also showed up to play the hosts.
Fred Kyambadde converted the deciding penalty to give the hosts a deserved victory after they had dominated for prolonged periods.
“We feel like on any given day, if we play and fight hard enough, and we’re dedicated to do it as a team, we can be successful,” UCU coach Jackson Nyiima told Red Pepper Online edition after the game. “We know player for player, KU is better, and if we played them 10 times, they might beat us seven times being local and regional University champions.
“We wanted to break up the game into 10-minute segments … if we could continue to play that way, the pressure would turn to KU. For us, it was a matter of sticking to the game plan and getting things done, and we did.”
Just 10 minutes into the game, UCU’s lanky forward Fred Kyambadde headed in a cross from skipper Martin Sonko to give the Mukono side the lead but Kampala Junior Team’s silky wideman Vianey Sekanyugo slotted home to level matters in the 21st minute after tearing apart UCU’s porous defence.
Paul Musamali added one for KU in the 31th minute before Amos Muwonge levelled for UCU within five minutes. Fufa Super league star Ssekambombya later gave KU the lead just before halftime and Nelson Sempagara who plays for The Saints in the Big League converted a penalty after resume for UCU.
Mutundwe Lions’ former St Mary’s Kitende mercurial talent Paul Mucureezi’ was a constant threat to Kampala University and saw a close range effort blocked by Kigonya, before Ssempagara set up his teammate Kyambadde, only to see him to fire over from a good position.
KU ended the half the stronger team — Vianey Ssekanyugo had a snap shot parried by UCU goalie, while Musamli ballooned over from close range.
The pattern continued after the break with Eturude guilty of a bad miss after Kigonya could only push out a KU corner.
UCU’s Kyambadde, who might by that point have scored a hat-trick, was again frustrated with a volleyed effort, which Kigonya saved with his legs — Mucureezi then shot over the bar from the rebound and a minute later Ayeko Richard was sent for abusive language with a second yellow card.
“We’ve gone out without being beaten with our heads held high and making the University proud,” a defiant KU Titi Kamaara told reporters after their defeat.
By presstime, the other quarterfinal saw Makerere University Business School beat Nkumba University 3-2 to advance to the semis.
A total of 20 universities arrived Sunday are participating with approximately 2800 students and officials in the one-week championship that is expected to end on December 21 will also be part of the centenary celebrations as UCU marks 100 years since their pioneer institute Bishop Tucker College was founded.