The 2019-20 Uganda Premier League officially kicked off on Thursday last week with new comers Kyetume FC stunning record champions Sports Club Villa at Mandela National stadium.
There were several moments that stood out in the seven games played and Kawowo Sports’ Joel Muyita looks at the peculiar figures that you need to know.
1 – Red Card
For the third successive season, there has been a player sent off on matchday one of the league and coincidentally all come from Bright Stars FC.
Farouk Katongole was sent off as Bright Stars FC fell to Vipers SC after committing a second bookable offence on Tito Okello.
Before this season, Augustine Kacancu (2018-19) and Jimmy Kakooza (2017-18) were sent off against Maroons FC and Vipers SC respectively
1 – One game not played
A complete matchday must have 8 games involving all the 16 teams but only 14 were in action with the game between Onduparaka FC and Police FC not played.
Police FC has been featuring in the East Africa Police Chiefs Corporation (EAPCO) games but without recommendation from FUFA and are likely to be docked points.
With the EAPCO games’ expedition done, the Cops who returned to the country on Sunday will play their next league game against BUL FC two days later.
For the third straight season, matchday one has had a game not played. Last season, the game between Mbarara FC and Express FC was postponed with the former failing to get an alternative home ground after Kakyeka stadium was deemed unfit to host games. In the 2017-18 season, Masavu FC was not allowed to play against Police FC because their players did not have certified licenses.
1 – Brace
Unlike last season where three players scored a brace on matchday one, this time only one player scored twice. This was Paul Mucureezi who netted twice in Mbarara City’s 3-0 win against Proline FC.
Last season, Nelson Ssenkatuka, Abdumalik Vitalis Tabu and Joel Madondo scored a brace each on matchday one against Maroons FC, Paidha Black Angels FC and SC Villa in that order.
2 – Debutants scoring
John Ssemazi and Ivan Ntege scored in their first league game for the Tooro United FC and URA FC respectively.
Last season, there were seven debutants that got onto the score sheet on matchday one. These included Davis Kasirye for Vipers SC, Vitalis Tabu for URA FC, Ronald Nyanzi (Police FC), Bashir Mutanda and Joseph Ssemujju for SC Villa plus Rashid Agau for Maroons FC.
3 – Goals scored by substitutes
Three players came off the bench and scored on matchday one. These include; Ivan Ntege (URA FC), Brian Nkuubi (Vipers SC) and Fredrick Nicholas Kigozi (Tooro United FC).
Ntege scored the third goal as URA FC defeated Maroons FC 3-0 at Mandela National stadium. He had replaced Mikidadi Ssenyonga. Nkuubi scored directly from a free-kick against Bright Stars FC.
Kigozi grabbed the match-winner for Tooro United FC against Busoga United at a waterlogged Muteesa II Stadium on Saturday.
4 – Headed Goals
Of the 16 goals scored on matchday one, four were scored with the head. Allan Okello, Enock Walusimbi, Dan Ssewava and John Ssemazi all scored with the head.
Walusimbi gave Bright Stars FC the lead against Vipers heading home from Alfred Onek’s free-kick.
Allan Okello rushed to the near post to head home Musitafa Kizza’s cross a goal that eventually gave KCCA FC the win against Wakiso Giants FC.
In the game between Tooro United FC and Busoga United, there were two headed goals, the first from John Ssemazi when he headed home from Arthur Kiggundu’s corner-kick delivery while Dan Ssewava levelled matters for Busoga Unted FC also from a header.
16 – Goals Scored
A total of 16 goals were scored from the seven games played, three less than those registered on matchday one last season.
20 – Yellow Cards
20 yellow cards were shown to different players in the seven games. Mbarara City vs Proline FC had a lion’s share with five bookings registered.
N.B – Even the two yellow cards for Farouk Katongole of Bright Stars FC who was sent off are considered.
21 – First league goal
The first goal of the season came from Kyetume’s Cephas Tarzan Kambugu in their win against SC Villa.
The winger tapped home the eventual winner in the 21st minute to hand the Slaughters a perfect start in the top-flight league.