Franklin Kaweru | Kawowo Sports St Mary’s SS Kitende players and officials celebrate on the podium with the trophy in Jinja on Saturday (Photo: David Isabirye)

2019 Copa Coca Cola Football Championship:

  • Final: Jinja SS 1-3 St Mary’s SS Kitende
  • Third Place: Buddo SS 2-0 Standard High School, Zana
  • Most Valuable Player (MVP): Edrine Opaala Mukisa (Jinja SS)
  • Top Scorer: Lawrence Tezikya (Jinja SS) – 13 Goals

St Mary’s Secondary School, Kitende has conquered the national post primary schools football championship (Copa Coca Cola) once again.

The hard toiled victory in 2019 comes after their 2014 triumph in Duhaga, Hoima.

For the 9th time, the Kitende based school was celebrating on the podium, having won the 27th edition of the Copa football tournament in style at the Kakindu Stadium, Jinja.

Kitende, as the school is fondly known, recovered from a goal down to beat Jinja SS 3-1 before a very big crowd that at one stage lost their cool and threw missiles onto the field of play when the Wakiso side took the lead, 2-1.

Tournament top scorer Lawrence Tezikya had given Jinja SS a first half lead with a glancing header on 15 minutes, moments after they had a goal disallowed for infringement by referee Ronald Madanda, who incidentally also handled the 2018 finale in Mbarara as Buddo triumphed 1-0 over Blessed Sacrament Kimanya.

Halftime of the enticing finale ended 1-0 in favour of Jinja SS.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Jinja SS left back Kenneth Ssemakula clears the ball as Richard Basangwa closes on during the final at Kakindu Stadium, Jinja (Photo: David Isabirye)

In the closing stanza, St Mary’s SS Kitende showed the Tiger’s character, clawing back into the game with a formidable spirited display.

Second half substitute Umar Kyebatala got the equalizer after Richard Basangwa’s initial effort had hit the cross bar.

In quick succession, Najib Yiga, one of the players who played at the 2019 U-17 AFCON finals in Tanzania made it 2-1 in a remarkable comeback.

Yiga had moments earlier replaced Charles Lwanga.

A few minutes later, Basangwa poked home the third.

At this moment, the rowdy and unbelieving crowd started to throw stones and other missiles onto the field of play which prompted the anti-riot police to retaliate with tear gas canisters into the stands.

Franklin Kaweru | Kawowo Sports Police fires tear gas into the Kakindu Stadium stands during the final to disperse away the rowdy fans who had started to throw missiles onto the field of play (Photo: David Isabirye)

Play was halted for close to 10 minutes as many fans raced off for dear lives, others covered their bodies under plastic chairs including the St Mary’s SS Kitende director Dr Lawrence Mulindwa and a large fraction raced away from the chaotic scene.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Joseph Kasana carries a plastic chair as a shield for St Mary’s SS Kitende director Dr Lawrence Mulindwa from the raining stones at Kakindu Stadium in the second half (Photo: David Isabirye)

After calmness was restored, play resumed for 5 more minutes but referee Madanda hurriedly called for full time (with 13 more minutes to play) in a bid to save the situation that had run out of hand.

St Mary’s SS Kitende players and their countable fans celebrated the victory before the official closing ceremony where Coke officials, FUFA representatives and the tournament local organizing committee all condemned the violence act.

This is a well worked out victory. We deserved to be champions because we prepared well for this championship. We had a good squad and all the players were focused for the job in thy midst. It was collective display and I must say a big thank you to all the stake holders – players, my fellow coaches, management, fans and the director himself (Dr Lawrence Mulindwa)

Abel Male, St Mary’s SS Kitende Head Coach
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Abel Male, the St Mary’s SS Kitende head coach with his winner’s medal (Photo: David Isabirye)

Like in 2007 when they triumphed in Jinja, St Mary’s SS Kitende returned to the podium to collect their 9th title, to equal Kibuli (under copa arrangement).

By and large, Kibuli SS remains the record winners with 11 titles to their name in the national post primary championships since inception in 1986.

Kololo SS has four championships (1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990).

Buddo SS and Lubiri and Old Kampala schools have two titles apiece.

The tournament is played by students under the age of 20 years.

Meanwhile, Buddo SS beat Standard High School, Zana 2-0 in the third place playoff to win the bronze medals.

A goal in either half by Emmanuel Loki and Joseph Kafumbe saw the 2018 winners at least return home with bronze medals.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Edrine Opaala Mukisa recieves his MVP plaque from National Council of Sports’ Acting General Secretary Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel on the podium in Jinaj (Photo: David Isabirye)

Individual top performers:

Jinja SS’ Edrine Opaala Mukisa, another player who represented Uganda U-17 national team at the 2019 AFCON U-17 finals in Tanzania, was deservedly named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Another Jinja SS player, a left footed striker Lawrence Tezikya finished with 13 goals to take the golden boot.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Jinja SS’ Lawrence Tezikya (right) and St Mary’s Kitende field captain Azizi Kayondo race to the ball during the final (Photo: David Isabirye)

Ironically, Tezikya was also top scorer (with 14 goals) during the 2018 championship hosted by Mbarara High School in Western Uganda.

SMASK director Mulindwa handed over the golden boot to Tezikya.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Lawrence Tezikya receives the golden boot from Lawrence Mulindwa at the podium (Photo: David Isabirye)

A select team of 20 players was picked by a team of experts led by the celebrated youth football specialist Nimrod Kintu.

This team will on Wednesday, 22nd May 2019 depart for Nairobi, Kenya for a special training camp.

In the same vein, a pool of over 80 players was identified by the technical team on ground and officially handed over to two FUFA officials; Justus Mugisha (1st FUFA Vice President) and Bashir Mutyaba (FUFA Youth Football Development officer) to make a follow up.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports FUFA officials Bashir Mutyaba and Justus Mugisha after receiving the compiled list of exceling players at the 2019 Copa Coca Cola championship in Jinja (Photo: David Isabirye)

Previous Winners since 1986:

  • 2019: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Jinja, Jinja College)
  • 2018: Buddo S.S (Host: Mbarara, Mbarara High)
  • 2017: Jinja S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS)
  • 2016: Kibuli SS (Host: Soroti, Teso College Aloet)
  • 2015: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Hoima, Duhaga S.S)
  • 2014: Kibuli SS (Host: Gulu, St Joseph College, Layibi)
  • 2013: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Kabale, Kigezi College)
  • 2012: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Tororo, Rock High School)
  • 2011: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Arua, Mvara S.S)
  • 2010: Bishop Nankyama (Masaka, St Henry’s Kitovu)
  • 2009: Buddo S.S (Fort Portal, St Leo’s Kyegobe)
  • 2008: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Arua, Mvara SS) *Started as Copa Coca Cola Cup
  • 2007: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Jinja, Jinja S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2006: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Masindi, Kabalega SS) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2005: Kibuli S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS) *Coca Cola
  • 2004: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Mbarara – Ntare School) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2003: Old Kampala (Host: Lira, Lango College) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2002: Nagalama Islamic (Host: Soroti, Teso College, Aloet) * Coca Cola Cup
  • 2001: Ngabo Academy (Host: Kabale, Kabale S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2000: Kibuli (Host: Mbale, Mbale S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1999: Old Kampala (Host: Masindi, Kabalega S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1998: Kibuli (Host: Jinja, Jinja S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1997: St Leo’s Kyegobe (Host: Mbarara, Mbarara High) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1996: Kibuli (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS) *Started as Coca Cola Cup
  • 1995: Kibuli (Host: Mbale, Mbale SS) *NPP Cup
  • 1994: Lubiri S.S (Host: Lira, Lango College) *NPP Cup
  • 1993: Kibuli S.S (Host:  Mbarara, Ntare School) *NPP Cup
  • 1992: Kibuli SS (Host: Kampala, Kibuli SS) * UTV Cup
  • 1991: Kibuli S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1990: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1989: Kibuli S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1988: Kololo (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1987: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1986: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Jinja SS XI Vs St Mary’s SS Kitende (Photo: David Isabirye)
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports St Mary’s SS Kitende XI Vs Jinja SS (Photo: David Isabirye)
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports St Mary’s SS Kitende overall captain Robert Kitabalwa lifts the trophy amidst excitement (Photo: David Isabirye)
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports St Mary’s SS Kitende players and officials joined by their cheer leader Kamodo Muwonge celebrate on the podium in Jinja (Photo: David Isabirye)

1 COMMENT

  1. i just cheered jinja sss much as they lost but they displayed for me very scholastic football.even st mary’s kitende boys are good,we just ask them to work together to return home with east africa’s trophy

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