Saints head coach Mark Twinamatsiko suggested in the days ahead of this game that Ronald Musana was playing way below his potential.
It took the winger, who is 28 years of age, approximately 2 minutes to provide compelling evidence to back up his manager’s assertion in the Sunday FUFA Big League Rwenzori group 2-1 win over Mutundwe Lions.
After more than two months since joining the FUFA Big League side, the pacy winger could have been forgiven for being a little rusty upon his third first-team start.
Instead, he proved the difference early on an afternoon when Joseph Mutyaba’s well-organised and well-drilled outfit were proving an incredibly tough nut to crack, netting the first goal.
Thankfully, the former SC Villa player was able to prove he has that unerring quality all the best forwards have – the ability to be in precisely the right place at the right time, scoring early enough.
Netting goals during periods of dominance has been a notable problem for the Saints during first round – as the defeats at home to Artland Katale and Baza Holdings illustrate.
A bright, offensive opening from the home side which generated a swathe of possession garnered some tantalising crosses, a header wide from the effervescent Alex Kitatta and a bold drive from Nelly Sempagara that sailed wide. And all inside the opening 20 minutes.
Farouk Kawooya back in the starting XI for his first start after serving a one match suspension, was also catching the eye with some eager runs and neat link-up play.
A fierce near-post drive from Buni Christopher in the 38th minute served to illustrate that point.
But despite the dominance in the first period, the familiar tale of failing to convert and create chances – which has proved the side’s biggest stumbling block in recent weeks – continued.
Defensively, in the absence of the ever-reliable Brian Mukasa, Moses Okello produced a display which belied his tender years – playing with a composure, confidence and assurance which suggests, yet again, that his future at the Club is very bright indeed.
Mutundwe Lions had chances – mainly from the edge of the box and off target. But, as the clock ticked down, it was the home side upping the ante and, equally, feeling the frustration at the continuing trail.
And so when the second goal came, the release of joy at Namboole outside ground was palpable. A typically adept period of controlled build-up play down the right culminated with a low, driven cross which was teed up perfectly for Sempagara from 10 yards after a block from the Lions defence. He side-shot confidently low into the net to the delight of fans and teammates alike.
As the win seemed done and dusted, the defenders became complacent and Mucureezi took the bull by its horns as he outpaced Okello and Geoffrey Bwire to score Mutundwe’s consolation. Hadn’t it been due to poor finishing, The Saints could have been punished as goalkeeper Ramathan Male easily gave away loose balls.
And so, with 7 games of the campaign left to play, the Saints remain very much in the hunt for Super league qualification in the third place on 23 points, five behind second-placed Lweza United while runaway leaders Baza are on 31 points, with a game better.