Wednesday 14th February 2024
Stanbic Uganda Cup – R64
Simba Vs BUL FC
Namulonge grounds, Gayaza
The footballing world will turn its focus to Namulonge play ground on Wednesday evening when the Eastern Giants visit Buganda regional league side Simba FC in the round of 64 of the Stanbic Uganda Cup.
The encounter that had initially been scheduled for January before it was postponed, has attracted considerable portions of attention and promises to be a cracker of a game.
BUL and Simba ply trade at different levels of the league football pyramid, with the latter featuring down in the third division but their fantastic start to the season and exciting performances in their respective tiers make this meeting eye catching.
Having gone three games without victory, BUL returned to winning ways as they picked a 2-1 win over Bright Stars last time out in the Uganda premier league where they are currently on top in the standings with 37 points from 17 matches.
Abbey Kikomeko’s men have now gone three games without defeat, claiming one win and two draws since losing to Gaddafi on January 3.
Their eyes are now fully set on beginning the Uganda cup campaign on the best note and kick off their quest for the second crown with victory.
The last time BUL lost at the round of 64 was in January 2020 when they were defeated 4-2 on penalties by West Nile third division team Mvara Boys after a one all draw in regulation time.
Simba (Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA FC) have been in fine form in the Buganda regional league this season, with Alex Gitta’s men sitting on top of the table after 12 games with 27 points, three ahead of Kira United in the Sezibwa group.
They have won eight, drawn three and lost one only, they have also scored 28 goals and conceded twelve across the games. Their last match of the first round was a 2-1 win against Synergy which was inspired by George Masembe and Andrew Ssekayombya’s goals.
Simba’s tie against Free Stars in preliminary round one of the Buganda region qualifiers of the Uganda cup was abandoned and they qualified to round two through a boardroom decision.
Their contest in the second phase of the qualifiers ended in post-match penalties, winning 4-2 over Sparks SC after a two all draw at Kironde play ground in Mukono to reach the round of 64.
The team is coached by seasoned lawyer – Alex Gitta who is deputized by former Masavu FC coach Andrew Mugaga who recently was in charge of Buzaya county football team in the Busoga Masaza Cup.
Despite playing in third division, the team is comprised of exciting talents that can arguably feature in the top flight, including nimble footed wingers Kenneth Evans Nketiah and Isaac Ssenyunja. Energetic and athletic towering attacking midfielder George Masembe and striker Robert Ssewanyana who scored about eight goals in the first round, are the other players to keep the eye on besides experienced center back Rashid Ssemwogerere and talented goalkeeper – Hamza Lutaaya.
Pascal Ngobi was on the bench against Bright Stars. The midfielder had been on the sidelines for a couple of months and is now ready for contention.
Reagan Kalyowa and Douglas Muganga will however miss the game after feeling some discomfort.
With BUL FC leading the Uganda premier league, the Uganda cup also presents the club with the chance to compete on two fronts, and Abbey Kikomeko is not going to take the fixture lightly.
“This is our first game of the Uganda cup this campaign and I think it is not going to be easy for us since we are playing away to a team that is topping one of the Buganda regional league groups,” he said.
“We are therefore not taking them for granted, and as much as we are playing away from home, we shall fight tooth and nail to get the win from them.”
“Uganda cup is a tricky competition, small teams often intend to intimidate and frustrate big sides but I am not saying we are going to be frustrated, this time we are focusing on reaching at least the final.”
“The round of 64 is the beginning for us, so we shall put in whatever it calls for to win it because we can’t afford to lose at that level.”
Midfielder Ibrahim Kazindula said that;
“We are focused on winning and we want to win every game we play. So tomorrow is not any different, we are willing to go all through to win this game as all players are ready to play.”