Vipers SC players celebrate. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

2018 Uganda Cup Semi Final:  Vipers 1-0 SC Villa (Agg: 1-0)

Brian Nkuubi curled home a beautiful free-kick 21 minutes from full time as Vipers SC defeated 1-0 SC Villa in the return leg of the Uganda Cup semifinal played  at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Tuesday. Nkuubi had replaced midfielder Moses Waiswa on the hour mark and was the difference in the well attended match.

[/media-credit] Vipers SC players acknowledge fans. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Vipers will now face holders KCCA FC in Saturday’s final at the Emokori playground in Bukedea. The Tuesday affair had been well-balanced with an equal share of goal scoring opportunities created.

Before the match, there was drama when the SC Villa Jogoo team bus was blocked from accessing the stadium parking lot for close to an hour until less than 40 minutes to kick off. The match kicked off under a slight drizzle with Vipers’ Portuguese coach Miguel Da Costa turning to the ball boy role in the early stages when he raced onto a ball that went out of play.

As early as the 6th minute, Vipers’ Erisa Ssekisambu connected a Moses Waiswa free-kick from the right over the SC Villa goal. It was Ssekisambu again four minutes later with a shot from 20 yards. The visitors’ first attempt at goal fell to left-footed midfielder, Martin Kizza whose venomous free-kick on 20 minutes was parried over the bar by the Vipers’ goalkeeper, Isma Watenga.

SC Villa had a golden chance to get the lead when Mahad Kakooza tapped the ball wide from close range with Watenga beaten. On the hour mark, Duncan Sseninde had a shot-cum-cross flying across the goal but it was too fast for the on-rushing Milton Karisa.

[/media-credit] Farouk Miya and Denis Onyango at St Mary’s Stadium Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

SC Villa’s Allan Kyambadde became the first player to be booked after he entered the field of play without seeking the referee’s permission. Moments later, Vipers’ captain Nico Wakiro Wadada was also cautioned for bringing down Mahad Yaya.

As the first half neared the climax, SC Villa’s John Adriko missed a free-header following a teasing free kick from Martin Kizza on the left side of the playing area.

Waiswa became the second Vipers player to be booked for a malicious foul on the Jogoo’s captain Bernard Muwanga before the two sides returned for the mandatory half time recess.

It was a slow start for Vipers in the second stanza of the game. Winger Milton Karisa limped out after he collided with left back Arthur Kiggundu. Villa took charge of the game and Kizza would have caused havoc had he not hesitated to shoot inside the goal area.

Ten minutes into the second stanza, it was Villa again. This time midfielder Abel Eturude shooting wide from distance. Kizza had a shot saved by Vipers goalkeeper Watenga in the 59th minute to win a corner as the Jogoo stamped their authority on the game. Kyambadde headed the resultant corner on to the bar for arguably Villa’s golden chance of the game.

Vipers made the first change of the game with midfielder Brian Nkuubi replacing Waiswa in a precautionary measure because the latter had been booked.

Kizza also forced Watenga into another save on 63 minutes and moments later Bernard Muwanga was cautioned for protesting a refereeing decision.

The decisive moment of the game arrived in the 69th minute when referee Kiweewa judged that Karisa had been fouled just at the 18 yard mark, decision bitterly protested by the Villa players.

[/media-credit] Vipers SC players celebrate. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Nkuubi expertly curled home the resultant free-kick, kissing the foot of the upright before rolling into the net for the lone strike on the evening.

Villa pushed numbers up front with striker Yubu Bogere replacing left back John Adriko.

Vipers suffered a set back when their captain Wadada limped out 13 minutes to full time and he was replaced by midfielder Tom Masiko and this called for a tactical change with Bashir Asiku moved to right back. Geofrey Wasswa relocated to central defense along with Halid Lwaliwa and Tom Masiko took over the anchoring role.

Another SC Villa center forward Alex Ssemuyaba replaced midfielder Abel Eturude with less than five minutes on the clock. Meanwhile, Vipers called off the industrious Sseninde for midfielder Mousa Mbayi for their final change.

Karisa had an energetic lung-bursting run down the right but his final ball was well tamed by SC Villa goalkeeper, Samuel Kivumbi. Karisa was also booked for two minutes to full time.

1-0 it ended as the home players, officials and fans celebrated wildly with the venoms progressing because of a better aggregate score.

Vipers who now seek a domestic double will face KCCA in the final on Saturday, 9th May 2018 at Emokori Playground in Bukedea District at 4:00 pm.

Regardless of the final result on Saturday, KCCA will represent the country at the CAF Confederation Cup.

Team Line Ups:

Vipers XI: Ismail Watenga (G.K), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Captain), Yayo Lutimba, Halid Lwaliwa, Bashir Aisku, Geofrey Wasswa, Milton Karisa, Moses Waiswa, Dan Sserunkuma, Duncan Sseninde

Subs: James Alitho (G.K), Tom Masiko, Pius Wangi, Steven Mukwala, Frank Tumwesigye, Brian Nkuubi, Clovis Mousa Mbayi

[/media-credit] SC Villa line-up Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

SC Villa XI: Samuel Kivumbi (G.K), Joseph Nsubuga, John Adriko, Isa Lumu, Henry Katongole, Bernard Muwanga, Abel Eturude, Mahad Yaya, Allan Kyambadde, Arthur Kiggundu, Martin Kizza

Subs: Yusuf Wasswa (G.K), Ambrose Kirya, Yubu Bogere, Alex Ssemuyaba, Musa Mukasa, George Ssenkaaba, Vitalis Tabu

Head coach: Wasswa Bbosa

Match Officials:

  • Center Referee: Emma Kiweewa
  • 1st Assistant Referee: Richard Mugerwa
  • 2nd Assistant Referee: Samuel Mbabali
  • Fourth official: Richard Kimbowa


Wasswa Bbosa, SC Villa head coach

[/media-credit] SC Villa Coach, Wasswa Bossa. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

I am disappointed that our club was denied access to the stadium two hours to the game. We did not get enough warm up. During the game proper, we failed to convert the created chances. Concerning the goal we conceded, it is the referee who scored against us.
We had a lot of injuries prior to the game. About my status at the club, I am a free agent now.

Miguel Da Costa, Vipers SC head coach

[/media-credit] Vipers SC manager, Diego Da Costa Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

First of all, I thank the management of Vipers Sports Club, players, technical team and fans. In the game, we were better for the first twenty minutes. The game was divided. We had a lot of possession in the first half but we played in our own half. SC Villa Jogoo was better than us in the second half. Ahead of the final with KCCA, the opponent is completely different. We win the final, we do not play the final.We have played twice with KCCA this season and we know how to handle them.

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

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