BUL FC are into the quarter finals of the 2023/2024 Stanbic Uganda Cup after a last 16 penalty shootout win over ten time winners Express, with substitute goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa saving one and then scoring the decisive spot kick following a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Lawrence Tezikya, Benon Tahomera and Ibrahim Kazindula also converted in the 4-1 victory for BUL on Sunday. The Red Eagles only managed to convert through John Asimwe.

With nearly one minute of the additional minutes left on the clock, Joel Mutakubwa was purposely thrown into the fray at FUFA technical centre, replacing his compatriot Tom Ikara between the uprights.

In full view of the Uganda Cranes head coach Paul Put; Mutakubwa was up for the job as he reminded the world of his expertise at saving spot kicks by comfortably denying Marvin Oshaba.

He also made himself too big in goal to force Isa Lumu to sky his kick before he showed them how it is done by dunking beyond Abdul Kimera to activate party moods in Njeru.

Chances were however few and hard to come by as either side failed to find the back of the net before the 85 minute mark.

It was the Eastern Giants who consistently looked most likely to score in the first half, but a solid defensive display from the visitors kept the game barren at the break.

Abdul Kimera came to Express’ rescue to keep out Lawrence Tezikya’s rocket in the 27th minute, and picked his spot well to deny Walter Ochora twelve minutes later.

On the stroke of halftime, Benon Tahomera leapt highest and nodded in off a Jerome Kirya free kick after George Kasonko was fouled at the edge of the box by Kevin Ssekimbega but the goal was cancelled for offside.

The visitors did not have a shot on target until the 52nd minute when Dawson Mafumu made a sole significant run from his defense that forced goalkeeper Tom Ikara to float in the air quickly and glove his hard delivery into a corner. Ikara made another fine stop slightly above the 70th minute when he tipped John Asimwe’s strong close range header over the bar to keep the Eastern Giants in the game.

At this moment, both sides looked not to fancy shootouts as the hunt for a winner was conspicuously visible given the aggressive approach from either side.

BUL drew the first blood when substitute Ibrahim Mugulusi scored in the 86th minute to throw FUFA technical centre into frenzy but the celebrations were short-lived as Edgar Katumba pounced in the equalizer with one minute left to play following a corner situation, forcing the clash to be settled through kicks from the penalty mark.

Abbey Kikomeko and his men now turn the attention to the Uganda premier league with the visit to URA FC coming on Friday next week.

Ibrahim Mugulusi

Starting XI:

Tom Ikara (GK)(Joel Mutakubwa 90+2’), Walter Ochora, Nicholas Mwere, Ronald Otti, Benon Tahomera, George Kasonko (Ibrahim Kazindula 90+2’), Pascal  Ngobi, Jerome Kirya (Ibrahim Mugulusi 45’),  Martin Aprem (Ibrahim Orit  85’), Joel Madondo (Gerald Ogweti 66’), Lawrence Tezikya.

Unused substitutes:

Amos Kirya, Emmanuel Obua, Shafik Kwikiriza, Richard Okello.