BUL FC battled hard but it was the ten-man SC Villa who took the three points in a slim 1-0 victory at FUFA Technical Centre on Friday.

David Owori’s first half goal was the difference in the end despite the Eastern Giants dominance which saw them enjoy a flurry of chances. As fate would have it, the Eastern Giants also missed a penalty and equally failed to make numerical advantage count after SC Villa’s Gavin Mugweri Kizito was sent off in the second half.

BUL aimed to show an early dominance and throughout an edgy few opening minutes raced forward with goalkeeper Jeans Braddy Wokorach called into action seven minutes into the game to deny Alex Kitata.

Lawrence Tezikya came close to putting the Eastern Giants ahead just after the ten minutes mark when he robbed Joseph Kafumbe of the ball before making a swift turn into the box but his efforts slightly sailed over the bar.

Two minutes later, the fleet footed winger turned provider, this time threading up Kitata whose strike missed target from close range.

By this time, the BUL crowd conspicuously thought a goal would arrive soon as they had created enough but a miss communication between Hillary Onek who in this game was playing at center back and goalkeeper Tom Ikara almost cost the team on the 14th minute.

A long pass into the box by SC Villa incited Ikara to come out but failed to get his glove on the ball, allowing the Jogoos to have a shot which was blocked. The pieces fell to Ronald Ssekiganda whose effort was claimed by a retreating Ikara to restore calm.

Right back Hillary Onek played in central defense

Despite that warning bell, BUL remained on the front foot and so the chances kept on coming in plenty.

Jerome Kirya and Lawrence Tezikya made sure the visitors defense were alert, with the two linking up and the Eastern Giants number 11 getting his shot away but it was parried by Wokorach into the path of Kitata whose diving header looped far and wide.

BUL came close again on the 37th minute as Kitata remained a goal threat. Amos Kirya picked his spot at the far left following a Tezikya delivery into box and headed back across the goal with the goalkeeper hapless but the forward missed a contact on the ball.

Against the run of play, SC Villa struck first, six minutes to half time. David Owori met a pin pointing pass from Hakim Kiwanuka and swept home with a low drive to put the visitors in the lead.

Ronald Ssekiganda nearly made it 2-0 up for SC Villa after the break, however, his shot flashed out on 49 minutes.

Ibrahim Kazindula almost found the equalizer for BUL two minutes later but his hard shot from range missed the target by inches to give the Jogoos a sigh of relief.

The Eastern Giants continued to ramp up the hunt for the leveler and not too long a time, SC Villa were reduced to ten men when defender Gavin Kizito Mugweri was sent off for a hand ball in the box in the 57th minute and the referee awarded BUL a penalty as a result.

The Jogoos caused chaos on the pitch in protest of the referee’s decision for about three minutes, and the kick from the penalty mark was only taken in the 60th minute by Ibrahim Kazindula but it was comfortably saved by the goalkeeper.

With a numerical advantage for about 33 minutes, BUL threw everything at SC Villa after switching to a three man defense but a breakthrough was not to come as the Jogoos sat deep and compact to protect their narrow lead.

Ronald Otti missed a header before Ibrahim Orit also headed over the bar with four minutes left to play.

SC Villa then held firm in the closing stages to hold onto the 1-0 win, which meant a successive defeat for BUL at home following UPDF’s loss on Tuesday.

After 21 matches, the result has left BUL in the second place with 39 points, four behind table toppers Kitara.

The Eastern Giants will hit the ground again on Friday 29th March against leaders Kitara FC in Hoima.

Starting XI:

Tom Ikara (GK), Ibrahim Kazindula (Ibrahim Mugulusi 81’), Emmanuel Obua, Ronald Otti, Hillary Onek, George Kasonko (Reagan Kalyowa 53’), Pascal Ngobi, Jerome Kirya (Ibrahim Orit 81’), Lawrence Tezikya, Amos Kirya (Martin Aprem 68’), Alex Kitata.

Unused substitutes:

Joel Mutakubwa, John Okurut, Joel  Madondo.