Saddam Juma and Halid Lwaliwa Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

2017 Uganda Cup Round of 16

 Express Vs Masavu – Wankulukuku Stadium, 4:00 p.m

  • This will be the first meeting between the two sides.
  • Masavu is playing the Uganda Cup for the second time
  • Express is the record Uganda Cup winners with 10 titles under the belt (1985, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2007)
  • Express players had staged a sit down strike in the previous four days over unpaid wages
  • Masavu Technical Director Alex Gitta will seat on the team bench in place of Allan Kabonge (yet to clear the fine imposed by FUFA for abusive language towards a match referee).
  • Gitta will face his former side for the first time since being sacked by Express chairperson, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi
[/media-credit] Masavu players celebrate a goal at their Sandy like Katabi fortress in Entebbe Credit: KAWOWO SPORTS

On Wednesday when Masavu beat Baza Holdings in the FUFA Big League, among the many spectators following the game at the Kitubulu Forest Reserve playground was Mathias Lule.

Lule is the head coach for Express Football Club, the record winners of the Uganda Cup with 10 titles under the belt.

The CAF ‘A’ certified tactician was keen to follow the game, paying special attention to finest details as he noted in his small note book.

Lule left shortly after Masavu had scored the lone goal of the game through experienced forward Charles Odeke.

In an interview with Kawowo Sports, Lule, also a German trained coach, hinted on the reason why he spied on Masavu.

I wanted to know how they approach the game and basically how they play because I have been hearing about the team and had no idea how they play.

Now that Lule witnessed Masavu, a club on the verge of promotion to the Uganda Premier League in action, he has a rough sketch of the team his charges will encounter at their once intimidating Wankulukuku stadium.

For starters, Express has won the Uganda Cup the most times having tasted glory in 1985, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006 and lately 2007.

It is exactly 10 years since the Red Eagles have not won the cup, arguably the oldest knock out competition on the land.

Against Masavu, Express will encounter a rigid, physical and a bit individualist side.

One side that has depended on the physicality of a few characters as Brian Nsubuga and Lawrence Bakiranze at the back, Solomon Wafula (midfield) as well as the lanky center forward Odeke.

The game comes timely for Alex Gitta who will be on the touch line following the failure of Allan Kabonge to clear the fine to return to the touch line.

[/media-credit] Alex Gitta gestures as Matia Lule smiles in the back ground. The two coaches who worked together at Entebbe F.C will lock horns as Masavu takes on Express at Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku Credit: Kawowo Sports

Gitta has vowed to give his best for the match;

I know Express inside out with the strength and weaknesses which i will only share with my players.

I want to punish them because we want a double at Masavu (Uganda Cup and Big League trophy)

Mild Strike at Wankulukuku:

Express players have of late absconded from training citing failure for the club to clear their outstanding dues in allowances and salaries.

A few players managed to return for training on Thursday and Lule was quick to dismiss the strike as ‘small internal problems’.

We resumed training a few days ago and everything is set for the Saturday match. The talk of players’ strike was just a small internal problem that was averted.

Express will dwell upon the experience of skipper Ibrahim Saddam Juma, the robust attitude of midfielders Derrick Tekkwo, Simon Sserunkuma and Allan Kyambadde, towering goalie Emmanuel Opio and the once dancing left footed diminutive winger Sulaiman Jjingo.

Noah Semakula remains a big doubt for the match after a knock.

Kenneth Tumusiime (work commitments) and right back Moses Kiggundu (groin) will miss out for Masavu as utility player Fred Umony formerly of Bwala and Nkumba University returns following a red card against Hope Doves at the Mutesa II Stadium last Sunday.

[/media-credit] EXpress’ Noah Ssemakula in action against Soana in the league Credit: © Kawowo Sports / AMINAH BABIRYE

To reach this stage, Express eliminated Doves All Stars 4-3 on penalties after normal time had ended goal-less.

Masavu on the other hand, walloped Eastern regional side Igombe 5-0 in a game striker Peter Lumolo scored four goals.

The winner will progress to the quarter final to join Paidha Black Angels and Vipers Sports Club.

Vipers S.C is the cup reigning champion, a tag that earned them the rights to represented Uganda at the CAF Confederation Cup.

Uganda Cup (formerly Kakungulu cup) Winners since 1971:

1971 –Coffee F.C

1972-1975-Not Held

1976– Gangama F.C

1977– Simba F.C

1978 – Nsambya F.C

1979 – KCC F.C

1980 – KCC F.C

1981 – Coffee F.C

1982 – KCC F.C

1983 – SC Villa

1984 – KCC F.C

1985 – Express F.C

1986 – SC Villa

1987 – KCC F.C

1988 – SC Villa

1989 – SC Villa

1990 – KCC F.C

1991 – Express F.C

1992 – Express F.C

1993 – KCC F.C

1994 – Express F.C

1995 – Express F.C

1996 – UEB S.C

1997 – Express F.C

1998 – SC Villa

1999 – Mbale Heroes S.C

2000 – SC Villa

2001 – Express F.C

2002 – SC Villa

2003 – Express F.C

2004 – KCC F.C

2005 – URA F.C

2006 – Express F.C

2007 – Express F.C

2007/8 – Victors S.C

2008/9 – SC Villa

2009/10 – Victors S.C

2010/11 – Simba S.C

2011/12 – URA F.C

2013/2013 – Sports Club Victoria University

2013/2014 – URA F.C

2014/15 – SC Villa

2015/16 – Vipers Sports Club

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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