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Review: KCCA, URA play to an exciting stalemate

Champions KCCA FC and rivals URA FC played to a one-all draw in their StarTimes Uganda  Premier League game, at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo on Tuesday.

Ashiraf Mandela put the visitors in the lead as early as the eighth minute, before Allan Okello’s 57th-minute strike cancelled out his goal.

KCCA who were on the back of what should have been a morale boosting victory over Vipers SC last week, headed into the game knowing that victory again would set them well onto the path of catching up with table leaders Vipers. 

URA also had their own ideas, as they sought to pick up a second consecutive victory at the home of their rivals, with head coach Sam Ssimbwa understood to hold a personal grudge over the club he has managed thrice previously. 

The visitors looked to stamp their authority early on in the game, and should have done in the fifth minute, Cromwell Rwothomio was played through on goal, but he failed to get the better of goalkeeper Charles Lukwago who superbly saved his low shot.

The tax collectors period of dominance would pay off in the eighth minute. Marauding right back Ashiraf Mandela putting the visitors ahead.

As the heavens gate opened up at Lugogo, both side’s attacking play seemed to open up as well. Erisa Ssekisambu saw his effort collected by URA keeper James Alitho, while at the other end Lukwago saved from Saidi Kyeyune’s attempt from range. 

The sequence of end to end attacking play saw the hosts create a couple of nail biting moments, which culminated in Muzamir Mutyaba hitting the upright, the rebound fell to Mike Mutyaba but his shot was deflected out for a corner. 

Close to the half hour mark, Allan Okello’s well weighted pass picked up Mike Mutyaba, but his low shot drew a superb save from Alitho. 

URA headed into the half time break ahead, managing to sway the mammoth attacks from the Kasasiro boys. 

Mike Mutebi’s side started the second stanza on pretty much the same momentum as they ended the first. URA’s Julius Mutyaba became the first player into the referee’s books. But Alitho managed to save Mustafa Kizza’s freekick. 

Just over 10 minutes into the second half, KCCA finally breached URA’s defensive wall, recently crowned 256 Footballer of the Year Okello putting them level with a beautiful volley, from a Steven Sserwadda assist. 

The hosts kept in the front foot, seeing more of the ball as the hour mark came to pass, but still, neither sides could find the goal to give them the advantage. 

With 15 minutes to go, Kizza came close to putting his side in the lead for the first time in the game, but his free kick rattled the post and went out for a goal kick. 

In the end, there was nothing to separate the two sides, as URA left Lugogo unbeaten for the second game in a row, as well as picking their seventh draw of the season. They move to 10th on the log, with 16 points but they do have three games to play to the close of the first round. 

KCCA displace Onduparaka in fourth, with 23 points from 11 games, they host Kyetume FC on Saturday. 

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