The 2017/18 Azam Uganda Premier League season got underway on Tuesday with a lot of expectations.
With a goal drought taking centre stage across the seven fixtures, ChimpReports’ Joel Muyita gives an overview of how Match Day one went.
Top on the list of the talking points has to be the few goals scored as the league got underway.
Only 4 goals were scored in the seven games played.
The four goals were scored in two games (SC Villa vs Soana and URA FC vs UPDF FC).
This was a decline in the number of goals scored on match day one compared to last season which had six.
Masavu FC saga
It was a shame that a club playing in the top tier league could not meet the minimal requirements needed.
Masavu failed to process passports for their players in time which is one of the basis on which a player is given a license.
The newly promoted side have now been docked 3 points for forfeiture of the game against Police FC on Tuesday.
They have also been fined Shs1m and given an ultimatum of up to today (Thursday evening).
It is high time that the Uganda Premier League Secretariat became strict on some basic rules like having an ambulance at a game.
URA FC footballer Henry Kisekka got a concussion in the game against UPDF and had to be rushed to hospital on oxygen support but in a private car.
Good news is that the player regained consciousness at Life Link Medal Centre.
Richard Makumbi goes AWOL
Newly promoted side Mbarara City FC did not have head coach Richard Makumbi on the touchline against BUL FC.
Reports indicate the tactician has agreed a deal to coach Western Stima in Kenya albeit Mbarara City officials indicating he still has a 2-year running contract with the team.
One of the toughest places to pick points is Champions stadium Mwererwe.
Vipers, one of the teams tipped to win the championship found it hard to break down a 10 man Bright stars.
Miguel Da Costa complained about the playing surface that he thinks hindered his team to play their game.
Popularly known as Kachanga, Jimmy Kakooza is famous for hard tackling and picking up booking at will.
It was not surprising that he became the first player in the 2017/18 season to receive marching orders just 13 minutes after kickoff.
Newly promoted teams
Mbarara City and Maroons picked a point in their opening games more so on away grounds.
Maroons frustrated defending champions KCCA FC at Startimes stadium while Mbarara picked a point off BUL in Jinja.
Increased number of fans
There is an evident growth in the number of fans that come to watch the domestic league.
Besides the URA FC vs UPDF FC game, the other fixtures had a good attendance which is a positive for the local league.
BUL FC opening day hoodoo
Since winning promotion to the top tier league in 20111, BUL FC have failed to pick maximum points in their opening game of the season.
Even this time round, they could only afford a point against newly promoted Mbarara City FC.
BUL FC opening games since 2011
2011/12 – Police FC 1-1 BUL FC
2012/13 BUL 0-2 SC Villa
2013/14 BUL 0-0 URA FC
2014/15 BUL 1-1 Sadolin Paints
2015/16 URA FC 1-0 BUL
2016/17 BUL 0-0 Proline FC
-Only 2 newly promoted teams have won their opening games in the last 5 seasons.
JMC 3-0 vs Sadolin Paints 2015/16
Soana 1-0 vs CRO 2013/14
-79 players made their debut on match day one of the 2017/18 Azam Uganda Premier League; six were on their 2nd stint at those clubs.
Express FC had the lion share with 11 debutants (9 as starters and 2 came off the bench).
-Express FC have failed now failed to score a goal in their first league game on 5 occasions in the last 6 seasons.
Only scored last season against Lweza in the 2-1 win.
– 18 yellow cards and one red card were registered on match day one.
– SC Villa’s Vitalis Tabu scored the first goal of the season in the 72nd minute against Soana FC, two minutes after coming off the bench.
My UPL match day one best XI
1- Godwin Buule(GK)- Express
2- Fred Okot -URA FC
3- Hassan Musana- BUL
4- Innocent Assimwe-Bright stars
5- Asuman Harrisheh- Mbarara City FC
6- Sam Kintu -Proline FC
7- Isaac Ntege -Kirinya Jinja SS
8- Ronald Orombi- Maroons
9- Bokota Labama – URA FC
10- Pius Obuya-Maroons
11- Vitalis Tabu – SC Villa