The FUFA Drum 2019 (Quarterfinals – Group B)
- Acholi 1-0 Buganda
- Bukedi 2-1 Tooro
Tito Okello’s well drilled penalty past Buganda goalkeeper Hannington Ssebwalunyo was not only the match winner for Acholi but also the major talking point at a fully packed Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu on Sunday.
FUFA Referee Ronald Madanda awarded the penalty following a foul in the goal area on Isaac Otto by Ronald Ssekiganda.
Before the kick was eventually taken, Buganda players bitterly protested the decision which stood.
Vipers Sports Club forward Okello, regarded as a chief or king in the area confidently stood up and drilled the ball to Ssebwalunyo’s left as the Maroons goalkeeper dived to his right.
This was the only goal that was scored in the match, well attended by spectators across the divided including local leaders as Betty Aol Ocan, the leader of opposition in the national parliament.
Earlier before the breakthrough moment, the game remained a close contest especially.
Baker Buyala, a forward at Kyetume had a great opportunity to give Buganda an early lead on 24 minutes but he shot wide with the goalkeeper Derrick Ochan at his mercy.
Okello had a distant free-kick saved by Ssebwalunyo on the opening half hour mark.
In the 39th minute, URA utility player Hudu Mulikyi chipped the ball for Tito Okello who headed for Isaac Otto.
Otto, a former Kiboga Young and Maroons forward blasted the ball over from close range as the half time whistle signaled at 0-0.
The hosts were much more energized and organized in the second stanza, before finding that breakthrough moment on the hour dot.
Robert Ssentongo and substitute Paul Ssekulima troubled the Acholi backline which remained watertight with goalkeeper Ochan collecting routine high balls played into the area.
Both sides made a couple of changes intended for different missions at hand.
Alfred Onek and the goal hero Okello paved way for Francis Onekalit and James Otim respectively as the home side held onto the lead.
Acholi endured a tense climax to hold onto the lead and register maximum points on the evening that take them to three points in group B, same as Bukedi.
Bukedi had overcome Tooro 2-1 in the earlier game on Sunday.
Tito Okello was named man of the match, earning Shs 100,000 and a plaque, handed over by Gulu woman member of Parliament Betty Acen.
IT WAS A GOOD GAME LET DOWN BY UNFAIR REFEREEING. THE PENALTY FOR ACHOLI WAS HIGHLY DOUNTABLE. WE SHALL RISE UP AND COLLECT UP THE BROKEN PIECES AS WE LOOK FORWARD OUR NEXT GAMES AGAINST BUKEDI AND TOORO. THE TARGET IS TO DEFEND THE TITLEAlex Isabirye, Buganda Head Coach
Meanwhile, action resumes with match day three of the quarter finals on Monday (3rd December 2019) in Lira at the newly constructed Akii Bua Stadium.
Hosts Lango Province face Busoga in the early kick off and Bugisu will take on West Nile in the second game on the day.