StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC 1-0 Kirinya Jinja SS
St. Mary’s Kitende
Vipers Sports Club needed a hard fought performance to edge past Kirinya Jinja SS in the game played on Friday at St. Mary’s stadium.
Lanky forward Tito Okello scored the lone goal of the game to help the Venoms pick maximum points and close in on table leaders KCCA FC.
Vipers SC moved to 34 points after 16 games just three behind their title rivals KCCA FC.
The game produced meager opportunities for either side but the home side got the decisive moment coming in the 38th minute when Tito Okello tapped home from close range.
Abraham Ndugwa released Innocent Wafula on the right who laid up a ground cross to find Okello unmarked in the box. He was well stationed to tap home.
Vipers SC made only two changes from the team that had drawn one all against Mbarara City with Halid Lwaliwa who was recovering from an injury replacing Henry Katongole in centre back.
The other change saw Ndugwa appear in the starting team ahead of Rahmat Ssenfuka. Yayo Lutimba still started on bench with utility player Geoffrey Wasswa deployed as a left back for the second game in succession.
This was the first game for Abbey Kikomeko Bogere since taking over as interim manager following the departure of Charles Ayiekoh at Kirinya Jinja SS.
The two sides had chances before the goal eventually came first with the visitors through Joel Madondo whose header was easily collected by goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora. Dan Ssewava’s effort off David Bagoole’s corner kick hit the post before tthe ball was cleared by Livingstone Mulondo.
For the visitors, Dan Sserunkuma’s ferocious strike at the 20th minute mark went straight into the hands of goalkeeper Emmanuel Rubangkene.
He had another opportunity five minute later but Wafula’s cross was too high for him to node home.
Faizal Muledhu had to clear a ball off the line when goalie Rubangkene failed to deal with Wafula’s delivery from a corner. The lanky left back was in the right place to clear away a goal bound ball.
The deadlock was finally broken, seven minutes to time when Okello slotted home from close range in what would be the only goal of the game.
And that was perhaps his final contribution in the game because he was substituted four minutes into the second stanza with Rahmat Ssenfuka taking his slot.
Moments later, Sserunkuma who was off colour on the day was also pulled off for Steven Mukwala.
The visitors were better in the closing stages in pursuit for an equaliser but their efforts were fruitless.
Madondo missed Jerome Kirya’s lay up but Bagoole equally failed to find the target on the rebound.
Douglas Muganga’s back pass almost gifted Mukwala with Vipers SC second goal in the 80th minute but goalkeeper Rubangkene was quick enough to clear the mess.
Mulondo on the other end cleared a ball off the line to deny his former side an equaliser when Mutombora fumbled with a cross.
There was a melee five minutes from time when Wafula seemed to have head butted Faisal Muledhu but he was lucky to pick just a yellow card.
However deep in stoppage time, Ibrahim Kiyemba was shown marching orders after picking a second bookable offence.
Kiyemba got his second yellow card for time wasting. The first was for a foul on Miadondo early in the first half.
Vipers SC move to 34 points but remain in second place while Kirinja Jinja SS are 11th with 19 points.
In the other game played on Friday, Paidha Black Angels and Ndejje University FC drew 2-2 at Greenlight stadium in Arua.
Charles Anzivuku gave Paidha the lead but Ndejje levelled matters through Anwar Ntege’s penalty.
In the second stanza, the visitors went ahead when Noel Nasasira nodes home but substitute Andrew Kidega salvaged a point for the home side scoring the equaliser.
The two teams are still locked in the relegation mix with Paidha on 8 points while Ndejje have 10.