Proline Football Club are the 2018/2019 winners of the Stanbic Uganda Cup after defeating Bright Stars 5-4 on penalties. The game had ended one-all after 90 minutes.
Both teams were playing in their first finals in the tournament.
Proline started the brighter side and could have gone ahead inside the first 10 minutes as captain Noordin Bunjo was allowed through on goal but was superbly denied by veteran goalkeeper Hamza Muwonge. Bright Anukani later released Ivan Bogere on goal but his effort was wide off the target on 25 minutes.
Despite Bright Stars’ slow start, they seemed to have gotten a grasp on the game. On the half hour mark, Nelson Senkatuka cleverly set up Jamil Kaliisa but his left foot shot was way ward.
The pair later combined at the hour mark, exchanging roles this time with Kaliisa teeing up his captain but his shot from an acute angle was superbly matched by Hassan Matovu in Proline goal.
It was a balanced affair in the opening 45 minutes. As the two clubs headed for the breather. It remained to be seen what approach both coaches would go for as a goal was needed as much as defensive organisation.
After the restart, Fred Kajoba’s half time talk seemed to have rubbed his team the right way as Bright Stars started better this time. Senkatuka could have put his side ahead but he failed to connect with the ball well from close range.
Bunjo was again denied superbly by Muwonge. Two minutes later, Bright Stars found the breakthrough from Senjatuka’s well driven free kick at the hour mark.
Proline kept pushing for an equaliser but were often left frustrated by their poor finishing such as Anukani’s narrow miss from a close range free kick.
As the final whistle grew closer, Proline coach Shafik Bisaso was left frustrated with what he perceived as time wasting tactics from Bright Stars. And the ref was alert to that, sending off defender Aggrey Kirya for what was a second bookable offence for time wasting with eight minutes to play..
Bright Stars woes would continue as in the 90th minute, Proline were awarded a penalty which Mustafa Mujuzi coolly converted to level matters.
With the game ending in a stalemate, it was headed for penalty kicks. The first four attempts were all converted for each side. However, with the game at 5-4, Senkatuka missed his effort which proved decisive.
Kajoba was left furious with the way the referee handled the game especially in the dying.
“I remain optimistic that next year the referees also assist my side in winning the trophy,” he stated.
Proline have now qualified to represent the country in next year’s CAF Confederations Cup.