Alex Kitata marked his return to the starting eleven with a goal that saw BUL FC race to a 1-0 victory over neighbors Busoga United in a Jinja derby game played on Thursday.
Abbey Kikomeko’s men went into the match at FUFA technical centre knowing that they needed all three points in order to fortify their position at the top and with a big points gap. BUL now have 32 points from thirteen matches, six points ahead of Kitara FC in second place.
The game got underway with the Eastern Giants passing the ball very well and pressed for an early lead as Alex Kitata almost opened the scores in the fourth minute, the forward leapt towards Ibrahim Mugulusi’s inviting corner but BUL’s number 26 couldn’t connect with the ball and was just inches away from a near post finish.
A few moments later, Nicholas Mwere attempted to catch his former side by surprise with a long range effort. The left back picked the ball around the centre line, marshaled off Fredrick Ngalo and sent a rocket but his effort smashed the post and went out.
Busoga’s first real threat came with twenty minutes played. Mugwa Bashamu spotted Jeremy Matata’s dangerous run on the left and placed the ball into his path, the winger cut inside to find space, leaving his markers behind but goalkeeper Tom Ikara made a swift run off his line to close him down.
BUL then continued to enjoy some good spells of possession. The tempo was up a bit with the Eastern Giants showing more purpose and desire to the get the first goal of the game. Their dominance finally paid midway the first half.
Kitata made no mistake this time as he glanced in a header past Salim Wekiya in the visitors’ goal off Ibrahim Mugulusi’s fantastic delivery from a corner in the 30th minute.
Busoga United came close to dragging the game level in a blink as a long ball was lofted into the box, Moses Logono ghosted and broke free in the box but his header from close range was over the bar.
As Lucky Kasalirwe blew his whistle for half time, the Eastern Giants were ahead as the score remained 1-0 thanks to Kitata’s goal.
Coach Abbey Kikomeko quickly made a change when Lawrence Tezikya came on for Ibrahim Mugulusi before the restart but it was Busoga United who started the second half brightly – causing problems for BUL.
A little while into the second half, they introduced Hussein Ssajjabbi who attempted several dangerous shots from the middle but BUL’s defense managed to clear all the danger.
The Eastern Giants responded with another substitution, throwing Joel Madondo into the fray – replacing Reagan Kalyowa at the hour mark.
That did not tilt the second half into BUL’s favor as the visitors continued with several attacks in search for an equalizer, and at one time, Ronald Otti was forced to clear off the line to deny Peter Onen’s men a goal.
The coach then brought on Gerald Ogweti and Emmanuel Obua for Alex Kitata and Martin Aprem respectively.
But Busoga remained committed to looking for at least a point.
Emmanuel Ajo once again came within inches of firing in a leveler for his side in 88th minute, the forward picked his spot well in the area but he skewed his shot and referee indicated a goal kick for BUL.
Their last chance fell to Ngore simon from a free kick in the additional time. However, Walter Ochora policed well and kicked the ball far into safety.
BUL’s next league engagement is on 3rd January 2024 with a visit to Gaddafi FC at the Gaddafi Arena in the barracks.
Tom Ikara (GK), George Kasonko, Ronald Otti, Nicholas Mwere, Walter Ochora, Ibrahim Mugulusi (Lawrence Tezikya 46’), Douglas Muganga, Jerome Kirya, Reagan Kalyowa (Joel Madondo 60’), Martin Aprem (Emmanuel Obua 89’), Alex Kitata (Gerald Ogweti 81’)
Ibrahim Kazindula, Edrine Opaala, Mathew Odongo Tayo, Samuel Ssekamatte, Shafik Kwikiriza, Vicent Zziwa, Benon Tahomera, Joel Mutakubwa.