BUL FC moved five points clear at the top of the Uganda premier league after edging Vipers SC in a five goal thriller on Friday night. The Eastern Giants won 3-2 at St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende.
BUL have 29 points now, five ahead of the venoms who remained in the second place despite the defeat.
It was BUL’s ninth win of the campaign after twelve matches and the result saw the hosts lose for the first time at home in domestic competitions, bringing an end to their about 40 games unbeaten streak at the venue they called a fortress before Friday.
While Vipers enjoyed the lion’s share of ball possession, it was the Eastern Giants who posed more of a goal threat throughout the game – with Nicholas Mwere, Lawrence Tezikya and Ibrahim Mugulusi scoring to return BUL to winning ways.
Abbey Kikomeko’s men needed courage to get going and that is exactly what happened eight minutes in. Just moments after Jerome Kirya’s corner was punched back into play by Fabien Mutombora, the Eastern Giants took the lead when Nicholas Mwere peeled off the crowded pack and backwards into space, and then unleashed a hard slashing effort which evaded everyone to find the back of the net.
Vipers came close to leveling terms midway the first half through Yunus Ssentamu. Allan Okello lofted a long pass into the box with the striker controlling the ball well but was naïve and didn’t know what to do with it afterwards, allowing Tom Ikara to have an easy catch.
On the stroke of halftime, BUL made it clear to their hosts that had surely come for all the three points as they deservedly went 2-0 up before the break with a rare beautiful goal that nation may not see again.
Lawrence Tezikya was the chief tormentor this time as he robbed Livingston Mulondo of the ball and took it to the onrushing Mutombora in the box, he drifted outwards and rounded the goalkeeper but despite finding himself in a difficult angle, Tezikya skillfully picked out the far side of the net with a well curled ball that sailed between a retreating Paul Mbowa and the near post to silence the home fans.
The hosts however reduced the deficit five minutes into the second half through Yunus Sentamu. Bright Anukani started the move and combined well with Eric Kambale who slipped in Sentamu down the left. The forward then teased Douglas Muganga on his way into the box before he swerved in to give his side false hope of a potential comeback.
But things even got better for BUL when Ibrahim Mugulusi came off the bench three minutes off the hour mark. In the 66th minute, he benefited from an inch perfect pass from another substitute – Alex Kitata to fire home the third goal that sealed the victory.
Vipers didn’t stop trying though, and again pulled one goal back through Mohamed Salem Ekbad who planted in a header off a Patrick Mbowa cross ten minutes from time.
They continued to search for the equalizer and Bright Anukani came close to delivering them the badly needed point but he was denied from a free kick by the upright in added time. BUL then hanged on until the final whistle to walk home with all the three points.
The Eastern Giants next task will be against Busoga United at FUFA technical centre in Njeru on Thursday next week.
Tom Ikara(GK), Nicholas Mwere, Ronald Otti, Douglas Muganga, Hillary Onek, George Kasonko, Jerome Kirya, Martin Aprem (Shafiq Kwikiriza 78’), Lawrence Tezikya, Gerald Ogweti (Alex Kitata 55’), Joel Madondo.
Joel Mutakubwa (GK), Samuel Ssekamatte, Allan Kiggundu, Edrine Opaala, John Okurut (GK), Emmanuel Obua, Richard Ayiko, Ibrahim Kazindula, Vicent Zziwa.