Eric Kabanda (second left) receives his winner's medal Credit: © Kawowo Sports / DAVID ISABIRYE
[/media-credit] Triumphant Jinja S.S players and officials celebrate at Masaka Recreational stadium on Saturday Credit: © Kawowo Sports / DAVID ISABIRYE

After guiding Jinja S.S to their first ever copa national football title, head coach Eric Kabanda appreciated the role of their entire team towards the success.

Kabanda’s side outwitted favourites St Mary’s Kitende 4-3 in post match penalties in the finals that followed a one-all draw in normal time.

Two years ago, Kabanda –  was also part of the triumphant Mbogo clan in the Bika Bya Buganda football tourney, disclosed to Kawowo Sports that the players had special belief in themselves;

I thank the players for believing in themselves.

It was purely done to teamwork from the playing staff and technical wing as well as management.

For a long time, Jinja S.S had been seeking for their first national title in vain.

[/media-credit] Eric Kabanda (second left) receives his winner’s medal Credit: © Kawowo Sports / DAVID ISABIRYE

On Saturday, diligence, commitment coupled by sheer luck won them their first trophy after overcoming St Mary’s Kitende in the breathe-taking penalties watched by a capacity and noisy crowd.

Jinja S.S took the lead in the 80th minute through Joel Madondo who also scored his 15th goal of the campaign (one behind tournament top scorer, Abdallah Ssenyonga of St Julian).

With less than three minutes left on the clock, Kennedy Kasozi scored in a seemingly offside position to push the game to post match penalties.

According to Kabanda, the grace of God and lady luck also played a significant part to their successful campaign.

You can not underestimate the mighty work and blessing of God.

Everything step we undertook was blessed by God and I thank him.

Focus to East African games:

Kabanda’s immediate task at hand is now to play convincingly and win the East Africa Secondary school games that will be hosted by St Joseph College, Layibi in Gulu district later this year.

We shall not rest.

There is the East African Secondary schools championship coming up in August 2017.

We do not want to be mere participants but competitors

Jinja S.S, St Mary’s Kitende, Kibuli and host school St Joseph College Layibi will represent at the 2017 East Africa secondary school games under the football event.

[/media-credit] Jinja S.S team prior the inspections in the final against St Mary’s Kitende at Masaka Recreational stadium Credit: © Kawowo Sports / DAVID ISABIRYE

Jinja S.S returned to a heroes welcome in Jinja town on Sunday.

Winning Jinja S.S team:

Lazalus Obelejo (Goalkeeper), Peter Onzima, Okon, George Kalwoya, Peter Ssebagala, Fesali Najib, Joram Kirya, Lawrence Tezikya, Alamanzani Nasooa, Joel Madondo, Vincent Zziwa, Ivan Wani, Jeremiah Otieno (Goalkeeper), Innocent Okotengo, Bright Nkwasimwe, Paul Otuddu, Douglas Mulabi, Ibrah Sajjabi, Abbey Mulamba

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

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