BUL head coach Alex Isabirye congratulates Owen Mukisa after their victory over Kigezi Home Boyz (Credit: BUL FC Media)

2021 Stanbic Uganda Cup:

2nd Semi-final: Express Vs BUL – Thursday, 23rd September 2021

At FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru (3:30 pm)

Ninety minutes or so separate Express from BUL as the final of the 2021 Stanbic Uganda Cup looms.

These two clubs face off in the second semi-final of the knock out cup competition at the FUFA Technical Center on Thursday afternoon in a championship that has been played since 1971

Both clubs had a good run in the Uganda Cup before the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic struck and forced a halt of the tournament after the quarter finals.

At the quarter final stage, BUL eliminated Proline (2-1 on aggregate) as Express ejected KCCA (1-1 to qualify on away goal’s rule) over the two legs.

BUL is depleted of sorts having released the eligible players for this competition as Express has been firing across both sides of the cylinder having won the league, the CAF Kagame cup as well as two matches in the CAF Champions league against Al Merrikh from Sudan.

Perhaps, BUL head coach Alex Isabirye remains optimistic that they will compete despite the shortage of man-power.

We are going to face a good team with a good set of coaches. They are the league champions, recently won CECAFA Kagame Cup, and they have been playing at the continent. However, my young players are eager to play. They will put up a good show and I believe we shall win the game. About 70% of the players who played for us last season were released, not because they were not good but because some were out of contract while some had unlikeable characters. We are supposed to use players that have licenses for last season, therefore, we have no chance to deploy our new players. We shall now use a mix of young players from the junior team and a few seniors available.

Alex Isabirye, BUL FC head coach
Alex Isabirye talks to Joseph Ssemujju

His counterpart from Express, Wasswa Bbosa acknowledges that having lost ground in the CAF Champions League, it is time to step up and display a gallant performance in the Uganda Cup against BUL with a target to qualify for the final.

Having been eliminated from the CAF champions league, we are back to battle for the Uganda cup, we learnt a lot on the continent which we’ve been working on as a team, everything we learnt we hope to apply beginning with the BUL game but we respect Bul, they are a good team but we want to make the final, we believe winning the game will motivate our fans more

Wasswa Bbosa, Express FC head coach
Wasswa Bbosa, Express head coach Credit: John Batanudde

Key players:

BUL will back on the goalkeeper Sanon Mulabi, left back Aggrey Madoi, towering midfielder Godfrey Akol, former Uganda U-17 defender Walter Ochora, Martin Aprem, William Isabirye, as well as established forwards Musa Esenu, Ibrahim Mugulusi, Fredson Gwoto, Reagan Kalyowa, Richard Wandyaka, Joseph Semujju as well as teenagers Owen Mukisa and Thomas Kabaale for inspiration, among others.

BUL’s talisman Joseph Ssemujju

Express has goalkeeper Denis Otim available since Joel Mutakubwa is a new party at the club and Mathias Muwanga departed the club for greener pastures.

Skipper Enock Walusimbi, vastly experienced Uganda Cranes defender Murushid Juuko, Arthur Kiggundu, Isa Lumu are all available at the back.

Abel Eturude, Daniel Shabene, Mahad Yaya Kakooza and the intelligent Muzamiru Mutyaba are all options in central midfield.

Express Football Club players celebrate Erick Kambale’s goal at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende in the CAF Champions League against Al Merrikh (Credit: John Batanudde)

Martin Kizza, George Senkaaba and Eric Kenzo Kambale are expected to lead the quest for the goals.

Godfrey Lwesibawa is sidelined because of an injury picked away against Al Merrikh in Sudan whilst new signing Joseph Akandwanaho, just like goalkeeper Mutakubwa are cup-tied.

The game will be officiated by national referee Asadun Ssemeere. He will be assisted by Dick Okello (first assistant), Jane Mutonyi (second assistant) and Rajab Bakasembe as fourth official.

Celebrated former FIFA assistant referee Ali Tomusange is the referee assessor.

Match Officials:

  • Center Referee: Asaduh Ssemeere
  • Assistant Referee 1: Dick Okello
  • Assistant Referee 2: Jane Mutonyi
  • 4th Official: Rajab Bakasambe
  • Referee Assessor: Ali Tomusange

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

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