Express 2-2 KCCA
Mbarara City 0-0 URA
SC Villa 0-1 Busoga United
KCCA lost ground in the title chase after a 2-all stalemate with Express in the Uganda Premier League thriller at the Betway Mutesa II memorial stadium- Wankulukuku on Thursday.
The ‘Kasassiro Boys’ were on course for the much needed win on the road but substitute Joseph Akandwanaho’s first touch finishing in the last 13 minutes of the game denied KCCA win as both shared spoils on match-day 19.
Earlier on, Express winger Martin Kizza’s distant free kick was cancelled out by Julius Poloto and Sadat Happy Anaku strikes. KCCA missed a chance to close the gap on pacesetters – Vipers who are now three points clear on top with nine games to spare.
The Red Eagles broke the deadlock after 19 minutes when Martin Kizza’s brilliantly curled distant free kick from outside the box beat goalkeeper Derrick Ochan to send the home crowd in wild celebrations.
The visitors then put the game to level terms from the penalty mark after Express Captain Enock Walusimbi was judged to have brought down Julius Poloto in the box. The KCCA winger stepped up to send custodian Denis Otim the wrong way.
From recess, KCCA made two changes, introducing striker Erisa Ssekisambu and right back Filbert Obenchan for Usama Arafat and Rogers Mato to dominate exchanges thereafter.
After 56 minutes, forward Sadat Anaku pounced on a well guided cross from the right by Innocent Wafula to score a stunning half volley in the top left corner of the goal net.
The joy didn’t last for long after second half substitute Akandwanaho poked home past a stranded Ochan with his first touch after chasing on a long ball from skipper Walusimbi.
Akandwanaho had few minutes back replaced first goal scorer Martin Kizza.
As the game approached its climax, the Red Eagles narrowly won it but Eric Kambale’s close range shot from a tight angle rattled the goal post.
Express, playing under interim coach James Odoch for the first time at home, remains sixth with 30 points while KCCA has 40 points in the second position.
In their next league assignments, Express will visit Gaddafi on Tuesday March 8 in Ninja while KCCA host rivals SC Villa at Lugogo on Saturday next week.
Express – Denis Otim, Isa Lumu, Enock Walusimbi, Murushid Juuko, Arthur Kiggundu, Daniel Shabena, Mahad Yaya Kakooza, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Martin Kizza, Eric Kambale, George Ssenkaba.
KCCA – Derrick Ochan, Denis Iguma, Hassan Jurua, Herbert Achai, Innocent Wafula, Gift Ali, Arafat Usama, Rogers Mato, Julius Poloto, Patrick Kaddu, Sadat Anaku.