BUL FC has qualified for the semifinals of the FUFA super eight tournament. The Eastern Giants, under the new coach – Abbey Kikomeko Bogere, beat Vipers SC 1-0 on Thursday at FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru.

Striker Samuel Kayongo Ssekamatte got the only but important goal of the game from the spot while exciting performances from Reagan Kalyowa and solid defending from Nicholas Mwere who was making his debut at the club added spark to the game.

The early moments of the clash saw a paltry of chances created by both sides although BUL dictated the proceedings from the onset but much of the action was happening in the midfield.

The first chance came for Martin Aprem. A pin pointing pass from the middle found its way to Aprem who generated the attack but Hillary Mukundane made up for their slackness in defense with a timely tackle on the forward and the Venoms regrouped to stave off danger from the resulting free kick.

By this time, Vipers were only playing deep with a compact defense and closing up all channels BUL’s swift wingers could use to sneak through.

Moments later, Reagan Kalyowa had a chance when he flicked to set up a one on one situation with Livingston Mulondo in the Venoms’ defense, however in trying to find a way to the goal, the referee whistled for a foul on the Vipers man.

The visitors were not without their chances though; former Eastern Giant David Bagoole found Asiwome Fumador in the box but Tom Ikara got a glove on his shot and into the corner.

Fumador was keen to impress again and he indeed put the ball in the net before halftime but it was cancelled for offside.

The two sides headed in all square at the break.

Two minutes into the restart, the breakthrough came BUL’s way. Mulondo tripped Kalyowa in the box and the referee pointed to the spot without any hesitation.

Ssekamatte took up the responsibility and dispatched a cool one past Fabien Mutombora to spark rapturous celebrations in the stands.

BUL came close again, and Mutombora was forced to pull two fine saves to deny the Eastern Giants a second. Kalyowa, the Venoms’ tormentor in chief, found his way in the area again and released a hard one which fell on the goalkeeper’s strong hand. Ssekamatte then fed on the rebound but the netminder was in the correct position to punch the ball away before Aprem’s effort went wide.

It was after the introduction of Brazilian forward Rodriguez Giancarlo and Abdul Lumala that Vipers started to show intent.

Their impact was immediately felt, Giancarlo used his unmatched height and aerial superiority to create opportunities for his teammates and their general approach to the game began to promise.

He crafted a back heel into the path of Yunus Ssentamu whose shot whistled just inches from the post. They continued to press for a leveler with Lumala also shooting wide in the process before he saw his goal disallowed in the 75th minute because he was offside by the time he found the target. And that is all they could manage on the day.

The victory means BUL have marched to the last four for the first time since the inception of the competition.

Starting XI:

Tom Ikara (GK), Nicholas Mwere, Ronald Otti, Walter Ochora, Douglas Muganga, Pascal Ngobi, George Kasonko, Jerome Kirya (Ibrahim Kazindula 83’), Reagan Kalyowa (Emmanuel Obua 90+2’), Martin Aprem (Hillary Onek 68’), Samuel Ssekamatte (Alex Kitata 83’).

Unused substitutes:

Ibrahim Mugulusi, Lawrence Tezikya, Joel Madondo, Vincent Zziwa, Joel Mutakubwa.

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