Erick Kenzo Kambale (left) wheels off in celebration Credit: John Batanudde

Uganda Premier League 2020-21 (Match Day 24):

Saturday, 15 May 2021 Results:

  • Express 1-0 UPDF
  • BUL 0-1 Soltilo Bright Stars
  • Mbarara City  2-1 Onduparaka
  • URA 3-1 Police
  • Wakiso Giants 7-2 Kitara
  • Sports Club Villa 1-3 Vipers

Express Football Club broke down a hard fighting Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) with a 1-0 slim home at the Betway Mutesa II Wankulukuku Stadium on Saturday.

Striker Erick Kenzo Kambale maintained his rich vein of form with a well struck kick from the penalty mark in the opening half for his 12th goal of the season.

Kambale’s penalty kick arrived in the 21st minute following a foul in the forbidden area by Bernard Muwanga.

It then necessitated solid defending from the Express team as the army side pushed hard for the equalizer in vain.

Playing their second game with suspended head coach Kefa Kisala, UPDF suffered an early predicament when forward Brian Kalumba was stretchered off just 12 minutes into the game for Alex Benzema Kitata.

Alex “Benzema” Kitata closed down by Mahad Yaya Kakooza (Credit: John Batanudde)

The army side had started brightly when forward Brian Kayanja brought was brought down just on the edge of the goal area, four minutes into the game.

The resultant free-kick from Kayanja was successfully blocked by defender Juuko inside the goal area.

UPDF defender Joseph Bright Vuni blocked Martin Kizza cut back with Kambale ready to pounce on 7 minutes.

A minute later, it was Express again when Godfrey Lwesibawa was denied by goalkeeper Yusuf Wasswa from close range.

Kalumba executed an attempt way off target on the 10th minute mark.

The early forced change came on the quarter hour makr when Kalumba limped out for Alex Kitata.

Martin Kizza closed down by Charles Ssebutinde (Credit: John Batanudde)

Two minutes later, Kayanja shot wide from an acute angle before Express left back Arthur Kiggundu, returning from a month long injury lay off headed over from close range.

Referee George Olemu pointed to the spot when Muwanga felled down Lwesibawa in penalty area.

There was a slight protest from the UPDF players but the decision stood and Kambale confidently stepped up to beat goalie Wasswa, flouting the ball into the left top corner of the net as the former Masavu, SC Villa, Onduparaka goalkeeper dived the wrong way.

On the half hour mark, UPDF left back Isa Mubiru beat two Red Eagles players before he got trapped down for a foul on the edge of the goal area.

Kayanja’s resultant free-kick was blocked by the UPDF defensive wall.

With five minutes to the end of the opening half, goalie Wasswa reacted quicker off his line to thwart a Lwesibawa threat.

The best moment for the visitors arrived on the stroke of half time when Kayanja’s long range shot kissed was parried by goalkeeper Mathias Muwanga onto the cross bar for an unsuccessful corner-kick as the opening half ended 1-0.

Seven minutes into the second half, UPDF’s captain Denis Ssekitoleko got cautioned for a late challenge on Martin Kizza.

Kizza’s free-kick from 35 yards was a routine collection for goalkeeper Wasswa

Ibrahim Thembo is sandwiched by Martin Kizza and Mahad Yaya Kakooza (Credit: John Batanudde)

Towards the hour mark, Express raided a counter-attack but Kizza was hesitate to release Lwesibawa who is in off-side position.

On the break, UPDF attacked and Kayanja shot over from distance.

UPDF’s second change on the evening came after 68 minute when Davis Kasirye replaced Charles Ssebutinde.

With 20 minutes to play, Express called for their first change of the match.

Teenager Ivan Mayanja was introduced for a silent Charles Musiige.

Goalkeeper Wasswa reacted faster off the line to tame a through ball with Martin Kizza coming closer on 80th minute.

Express head coach Wasswa Bbosa shouts instructions (Credit: John Batanudde)
Ssaka Mpiima on the UPDF touchline in absence of head coach Kefa Kisala (Credit: John Batanudde)

Three minutes later, Kambale poked to the ball into the path of Lwesibwa but Wasswa remained alert to tame the situation.

Substitute Kasirye perfectly chest controlled the ball, before a turn and shoot effort with the left foot.

1-0 the game remained after full time for Express’ maximum points, which drives them to 52 points.

Express’ Daniel Shabene was named the pilsner man of the match.

Joseph Bright Vuni, a UPDF player reacts moments after the game

Meanwhile, URA maintained the summit status with a 3-1 home win over Police at the Arena of Visions in Ndejje University.

Vipers humbled Sports Club Villa 3-1 at the Military Barracks Stadium in Bombo while Wakiso Giants were in demolition mood, hammering Kitara 7-2 at the Kabaka Kyabaggu stadium.

Mbarara City needed a late winner to triumph 2-1 over Onduparaka at the Kakyeka Stadium whilst BUL lost 1-0 at home to visiting Soltilo Bright Stars at the Kyabazinga stadium, Jinja city.

Express XI Vs UPDF (Credit: John Batanudde)

Team Line Ups:

Express XI: Mathias Muwanga (GK), Enock Walusimbi (Captain), Arthur Kiggundu, Murushid Juuko, Isa Lumu, Mahad  Kakooza, Daniel Shabene, Charles Musiige, Martin Kizza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Eric Kenzo Kambale

Subs: Chrispus Kusiima (G.K), Sadiq Ssekyembe, Ivan Mayanja, John Byamukama, Denis Bbosa, Mustafa Kiragga, Frank Kalanda

Head coach: Wasswa Bbosa

Assistant coach: James Odoch

UPDF XI vs Express (Credit: John Batanudde)

UPDF XI: Yusuf Wasswa (GK),  James Begisa, Jesse Kajuba, Joseph Bright Vuni, Dennis Ssekitoleko (Captain), Bernard Muwanga, Ibrahim Thembo, Charles Ssebutinde, Brian Kayanja, Brian Kalumba, Isa Mubiru

Subs: Eric Kibowa (GK), Davis Kasirye, Hassan Zzinda, Ezekiel Katende, Robert Eseru, Sam Kintu

Interim head coach: Ssaka Mpiima

Center Referee: George Olemu

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

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