Uganda Cup Semifinal:
- 1st Leg: KCCA 3-2 Express
It is advantage KCCA Football Club heading to the return leg of the semifinal of 2016/17 Uganda Cup against record winners Express.
Mike Mutebi’s side edged rivals Express 3-2 in a five-goal thriller played on the Phillip Omondi Stadium, Lugogo on Friday.
League top scorer Geoffrey Sserunkuma maintained his rich goal scoring antics with a brace on the evening. Midfielder Tom Masiko got the opening goal to make it three goals for himself in a space of five days.
Express’ goals came in the second half from a lively winger Simon Sserunkuma and midfielder Allan Kyambadde.
Earlier at the onset of the game, Express proved the hungrier side winning the very first corner inside the opening 60 seconds.
But, it was KCCA with the real first threat at goal when Masiko’s 7th minute header went straight to the hands of goalie Emmanuel Opio who was returning to Lugogo.
By the 20th minute, KCCA had won three corners. Express defender Sam Senkomi was the first player to be booked by FIFA referee Dennis Batte a minute after the half hour mark for a foul on Paul Mucureezi.
Masiko lifted up the moods at Lugogo with a well curled free-kick 8 minutes to the half time break.
This was after defender Farouk Matovu had brought down striker Geoffrey Sserunkuma at the edge of the 18 yard area.
The two sides returned to the Lugogo locker rooms with the home team leading 1-0.
Three minutes after the game re-start, defender Juma Ssebadduka poked a boot in the face of midfielder Masiko.
Referee Batte pointed to the spot and the age-less Sserunkuma made no mistake from 12 yards as KCCA went 2 goals up.
At this time KCCA called for their first change of the game. A largely ineffective Paul Mucureezi paved way for holding midfielder Isaac Kirabira.
Meanwhile, Express made two changes inside two minutes. Steven Luswata replaced Ssebabuduka as diminutive left winger Sulaiman Jingo paved way for the exciting Joseph Ssemujju.
The changes ignited the game.
Another Sserunkuma entity, Simon was on target. On the hour mark, the right winger beat goalie Douglas Kisembo off a first time shot into the roof of the net after a telling through ball from Mahad “Yaya” Kakooza.
The celebrations were short lived as Geoffrey Sserunkuma got KCCA’s third goal on the evening. The beautiful finish followed a wall pass from Derrick Nsibambi after Farouk Matovu and left back Yayo Lutimba collided near the center circle.
KCCA defender Timothy Awany limped out following an awkward fall after a knock by Noah Ssemakula. His place was taken by the experienced Habib Kavuma with less than 20 minutes to play.
Ssemakula hit the woodwork with a powerful header on 72 minutes off a teasing delivery down the right by Sserunkuma as Express got close.
Express was celebrating in the next minute. Sserunkuma crossed for Allan Kyambadde as the 2014 footballer of the year finished the move to make it 3-2 and create a tense ending to the game.
With the final quarter of the game, Express introduced Cameroonian striker Jean Didier for a seemingly injured Semakula.
There were no further goals but rather cautions for either sides.
KCCA’s Isaac Muleme got booked in the 79th minute for pulling hand of Kakooza and Kyambadde for a deliberate handball after the ball had run away from him.
3-2 the exciting game ended as the return leg will be played on Tuesday, 30th May 2017 at the Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku.
Meanwhile, the second leg of the other semi-final between Sadolin Paints and Paidha Black Angels shall be played at Mandela National stadium, Namboole.
Paidha Black Angels have a 2-0 advantage following the first leg win at Bar Okoro Zombo stadium.
The final shall be played on 10th June 2017 at the Green Light Stadium in Arua.
Team Line ups:
KCCA XI: Douglas Kisembo (G.K), Denis Okot Oola (Captain), Timothy Awany (69’ Habib Kavuma), Paul Musamali, Denis Rukundo, Lawrence Bukenya, Isaac Muleme, Tom Masiko, Paul Mucureezi (49’ Isaac Kirabira), Derrick Nsibambi, Geofrey Sserunkuma
Subs Not Used: Charles Lukwago (G.K), Sulaimon Akinyemi, Vincent Kayizzi, Robert Sentongo
Express XI: Emmanuel Opio (G.K), Musa Mukasa (Captain), Yayo Lutimba, Farouk Matovu, Sam Senkoomi, Simon Sserunkuma, Allan Kyambadde, Mahad Kakooza, Noah Semakula (75’ Jean Dider), Juma Sebadduka (52’ Steven Luswata), Sulaiman Jingo (53’ Joseph Ssemujju)
Subs Not Used: Mohamed Nadhir (G.K), Hassan Mohamood, Daniel Otto, Sharif Mohamed Ochaya
Center Referee: Denis Batte
Assistant Referee 1: Hussein Bugembe
Assistant Referee 2: Ronald Katenya
4th official: Okello Lee
Match commissioner / Cordinator: Rose Meya
Media Officer: Clive Kyazze