Uganda Revenue Authority FC’s Uganda Cup final victory can be the springboard for a Uganda League title challenge next season, says the club’s oldest player and Captain Simon Masaba.
URA are the 2014 Uganda Cup winners after beating KCC 4-2 on penalties following a 2-2 normal time stalemate at Mbale Municipal Stadium on Saturday.
The former Uganda Cranes defender also believes ending the taxcollector’s two-year wait for silverware has lifted the pressure from the shoulders of coach Paul Nkata.
“Now coach Nkata is going to be able to work with this current team without having to answer everytime ‘when are you going to win any title?’ so that’s something that he can put on the side,” he tells Red Pepper on Monday morning.
Masaba believes the win over KCC can be a platform for further success.
“As a player and a leader myself you want more. You want that team to go further. I remember the beginning of this last season we were aiming for a double but injury never allowed help my club to the league title. And guess what, we can use this victory to wrestle the league title away from KCC come next season.
He continued: “I think this team has talent – it goes without saying. The experience me and the likes of Robert (Ssentongo) offer to the team is valuable.
On Saturady, it is Brian Bwete the tax collectors had to thank after the goalkeeper saved two penalties and before stepping forward to convert the winning spot kick himself.
William Wadri and Derrick Nsibambi had earlier scored for KCC and Simeon Masaba and Ali Moses Feni for URA to force the tie into spot kicks.
KCC opened the scoring on 29 minutes after some impressive craft from Brian Majwega. But the lead did not last long as veteran Masaba leveled for URA from a beautiful free kick five minutes later.
The tax collectors were now in overdrive, Feni giving them the lead for the first time in the match when he headed in off an Erukana Nkugwa’s cross three minutes later. Coach Paul Nkata’s men held on to take a 2-1 lead into half time.
But KCC tactician George ‘Best’ Nsimbe introduced youngster Nsibambi in place of Habib Kavuma as the Lugogo outfit looked for solutions upfront.
URA’s Nkata responded by ringing two changes, bringing on midfielder Augustine Nsumba and Sam Sekitto for Martin Opolot and Allan Munaaba.
But it is KCC, who were frantically searching for the equalizer as time was running out, who got the rewards – Nsibambi leveling matters 12 minutes from time.
The two saw the game out level in the 90 and the lottery had to be called on to decide this year’s Uganda Cup winners.
This was the moment Bwete came to the fore proper, the goalkeeper saving Gaddafi Kiwanuka and Ronald Kisekka’s spot kicks. He could not, however, do much when Herman Wasswa and Tom Masiko took theirs.
Masaba, Feni, Sam Sekitto and Said Kyeyune having converted their kicks, Bwete then stepped forward to score from 12 years to effectively end KCC’s quest for a double (league and cup) and hand URA their second Uganda Cup in three years.
2009: Villa 2-1 URA
2010: Victors 1-1 Simba [5-4 pen]
2011: Simba 2-1 URA
2012: URA 1-0 Bunnamwaya
2013: SCVU 1-1 Vipers [5-3 pen]
SATURDAY UGANDA CUP RESULT
URA 2 (4) -2 (2) KCC
KCC FC Line Up: Nicolas Sebwato (GK), Sakka Mpiima, Ronnie Kisekka , Fahad Kawooya (c), Habib Kavuma (Derrick Nsibambi 46’), Hakim Senkumba, Gaddafi Kiwanuka, Tom Masiko, William Wadri (Ivan Ntege 90’), Herman Wasswa and Brian Majwega.
URA FC Line Up: Brian Bwete (GK), Simeon Masaba (c), Musa Docca, Jonathan Mugabi, Allan Munaaba (Sam Sekitto 58’), Oscar Agaba, Martin Opolot (Augustine Nsumba 58’), Feni Moses Ali, Said Kyeyune, Robert Ssentongo and Erukana Nkugwa (James Kasibante).