Billed as a title decider, Friday’s match between Vipers SC and KCCA FC in the Uganda Premier League conferred a badge of honour on Ugandan club football. Well, that’s if you’re to take the hideous St Mary’s Kitende pitch out of the equation.
The match, won 3-2 by Vipers, delivered the excitement it had so fervently promised. In the next few days, a torrent of ecstatic reviews will rightly greet the statement of intent Vipers have made at the home straight. Shone of the dugout presence of their enigmatic Portuguese coach Miguel da Costa, the Venoms have come up with two huge wins against relegation-threatened Masavu and title-chasing KCCA.
Milton Karisa, who is lampooned in some quarters for his poor first touch and shockingly bad final ball, has responded to his detractors in the only way he can — with goals and the odd assist. His brace against KCCA in Friday took him into double figures for the season. That is no mean feat.
Karisa now joins what is shaping into a fascinating race for the golden boot.
The race itself is jointly led by Bright Stars captain Nelson Senkatuka and Muhammad Shaban, who reached the dozen-goal mark on Friday with a scintillating bicycle kick. Before that, the combustible KCCA striker had plundered four goals in a clinical goal-scoring display against URA FC.
No doubt, Shaban did his part in keeping KCCA in the game against Vipers. It, however, ultimately proved to be not good enough. As a result, the Kasasiro Boys trail leaders Vipers by four points at a critical stage of the season.
Ahead of the trip to Kitende, KCCA manager Mike Mutebi was quick to stop people from attaching the title decider tag to his side’s match with Vipers.
Mutebi instead hailed the rout of URA on the premise that the title could be decided on goal difference. While it looks like a bit of a stretch now, anything can happen. It’s been that sort of season.