BUL FC rediscovered its winning touch on Wednesday, bouncing from a goal down to collect all three points from a cagy bout with Bright Stars at FUFA technical centre, both goals in the 2-1 victory coming in the second half.
Shafik Kakande shot the visitors into a halftime lead not knowing that Walter Ochora and Jerome Kirya would return after the break with full batteries to turn fortunes for BUL.
Abbey Kikomeko’s men had gone three league matches without seeing victory, with the gap between them and Kitara in second place reducing to two points but Wednesday’s result means they have at least fortified their position at the summit with a tally of 37 points from 17 rounds.
BUL was the liveliest side in the first half as they advanced the ball throughout the 45 minutes only that they failed to turn possession into goals.
The first shot at goal came courtesy of roving left back Nicholas Mwere in the second minute, chesting down Alex Kitata’s header on the left side. The resulting drilled shot was deflected for a corner though.
Just after a while, there was a misplaced pass near the 18-yard box and it almost benefited Bright Stars. John Kokas Alou took the chance with cheers only for his effort to be claimed by goalkeeper Tom Ikara.
Alex Kitata in response looked determined to add on his eight goals this season, going behind a defender and then breaking free into box with pace before side netting.
Relentless is the word that defined BUL at this stage. Bright Stars struggled to clear their goal area; Reagan Kalyowa had them for a dinner and then invited Jerome Kirya whose shot went wide.
Things temporarily went head over heels on the other hand despite the early dominance as it was the visitors who smiled going into the break.
Three minutes to half time, and against the run of play, Nelson Ssenkatuka picked up the ball just outside the box and managed to thread a pass to Shafik Kakande, Kakande wheeled into the box and squeezed an effort through the Eastern Giants defense and into the bottom corner of Ikara’s net in the 42nd minute.
On top of the table but on the back of three games without a win, and a goal down in this one, BUL had to look for answers and there was no better way to search for them than emerging from the interval more energetic than they were in the first half, and they were ultimately rewarded for their artistry and zeal in the second half. Coach Kikomeko replaced Amos Kirya with Lawrence Tezikya and the visitors swapped Alex Mandera for Noordin Bunjo.
With the Eastern Giants asserting dominance, workaholic center back Walter Ochora emerged exactly where BUL need him to meet Jerome Kirya’s free kick that he pounced in hard past the time wasting Hassan Matovu to draw the affairs level eight minutes into the second stanza.
Providing the assist for the equalizer, Jerome Kirya continued his quest for a goal of his own, with him robbing Isa Bugembe the ball and his long range shot from the midfield stung the gloves of Matovu before the ball looped into the net to put BUL into a well-deserved lead in the 69th minute.
The teams then started going blow for blow as BUL intensified their search for a third to kill off the game while Bright Stars thought they could still scrap a point from the duel, and it was them who forced a save from Tom Ikara through Senkatuka.
At this moment, the Eastern Giants required new legs and so they withdrew Ibrahim Mugulusi and Alex Kitata for Ibrahim Kazindula and Gerard Ogweti, with the latter almost scoring when he was found in the box by Kirya.
However, the third goal did not come, and Ochora and Kirya’s goals proved enough to win BUL the much needed and well deserved three points at FUFA technical centre.
Focus now shifts to the round of 64 Uganda cup match with Simba FC at Namulonge play ground on Wednesday next week.
Tom Ikara (GK), George Kasonko, Ronald Otti, Walter Ochora, Nicholas Mwere, Ibrahim Mugulusi (Ibrahim Kazindula 83’), Jerome Kirya, Hillary Onek, Reagan Kalyowa (Joel Madondo 90+2’), Amos Kirya (Lawrence Tezikya 62’), Alex Kitata (Gerald Ogweti 83’).
John Okurut, Emmanuel Obua, Pascal Ngobi, Joel Mutakubwa, Benon Tahomera.