- SOCCER. Five league matches are lined up this afternoon but most attention will inevitably be at Kitende and Mwerewe, where champions Vipers meet Villa and leaders KCCA visit Bright Stars.
First, to those whom Ugandan football runs deep in their blood will contest the headline.
To them, the big two can only; will always be Express and their offspring SC Villa.
Besides, these are the signature clubs that guarantee you a decent attendance in Kampala.
Yet in the last two decades the two most followed clubs have hardly had much to write home about, apart from a league title for Express, who face Bul tomorrow, in 2012 and an occasional Uganda Cup for SC Villa.
So when KCCA and Vipers, who have exchanged league titles between themselves since 2013, and who come into today’s round of matches as table leaders and reigning champions, are called the big two, it is merited.
Perhaps SC Villa, who are struggling for their first league title since 2004, could not have a better opportunity to contest that on the pitch when they face champions Vipers at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende.
Villa coach Douglas Bamweyana leads his team into this a man with mixed feelings after defeat and a draw with URA and Bright Stars in their last two.
“Its a mixture of feelings,” said the Villa coach, “First you want to appreciate the efforts and then you realise that we lacked the calmness in some of the areas especially in the final third from the chances we created.
“We just have to continue working hard on finishing the chances we create.”
Bamweyana will, however, be encouraged by league top scorer Bashir Mutanda returning among the goals against Bright Stars. The striker has 11 goals.
For Bamweyana’s counterpart Michael Nam Ouma, it’s a fairly good trajectory they are on having won their last two on the bounce to close the gap to 40-mark leaders KCCA to just three points.
“The last result (1-0 victory over Nyamityobora) was very good because we had struggled in my early time here but also very important because it keeps us closer to table leaders,” said Ouma.
“We are treating every game with respect and taking each at a time.”
Ouma will count on his firepower of Daniel Sserunkuma, Innocent Wafula, Hamis Kiiza and Tito Okello to hurt Villa.
Yet whatever happens at St Mary’s, parallels will be drawn at Champions Stadium in Mwererwe, where table leaders KCCA face stubborn Bright Stars.
Bright Stars have drawn their last two against Onduparaka and Villa, and occasionally get under the skin of KCCA.
And KCCA assistant coach Morley Byekwaso, whose side come into this buoyed by a narrow 1-0 victory over Onduparaka, expects no easy pickings there.
“Every game we are going to play in the second round is going to be hard,” said Byekwaso, “And we don’t expect it different against Bright Stars. But we shall show our character.”
STARTIMES UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE - TODAY
Vipers SC vs. SC Villa
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende,
4pm (Live on Sanyuka TV)
Onduparaka vs. Kirinya Jinja SSS Green Light Stadium, Arua
Bright Stars vs. KCCA
Champions Stadium, Mwererwe
Tooro United vs. Paidha BA
Buhinga Stadium, Fort Portal
Police vs. Ndejje University
StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo
Bul vs. Express
Fufa Technical Centre, Njeru