Vipers SC got off to a promising start to the 2019-20 football season after picking up a hard fought 1-0 victory over Uganda Cup winners Proline FC during the first round of this years’ Pilsner Super 8 tournament on Wednesday.
Debutant Denis Mwemezi scored the all decisive goal of the game to ensure Vipers passage into the semifinals of the tournament in a rather cagey affair at the Star Times stadium, Lugogo.
It was a sweet victory to the Venoms who were looking at getting one over Proline who knocked them out of the Uganda Cup barely four months ago. And it showed with the vigor they employed during the opening exchanges of the game.
The game picked up pace after 15 minutes when Abraham Nduggwa came close in the 20th minute but Proline’s Hassan Matovu in goal was equal to the task.
But in the 24th minute, Mwemezi got his first goal for his new club, nodding home Aziz Kayondo’s cross at the near post to put Vipers ahead.
Despite the limited chances at the other end for Proline, they should have equalized in the 41st minute after Noordin Bunjo’s well-timed pass put striker Ivan Bogere through on goal.The forward placed his shot wide off the target much to the disappointment of the exuberant fans.
There was no more action as the game headed for the break. Midfielder Rahmat Senfuka replaced another debutant Siraje Ssentamu who suffered a concussion.
Proline still lack the character.
Proline FC have 10 days till they embark on their maiden CAF Confederations Cup campaign where they will come up against Malawi’s Masters Security Services FC in the preliminary round qualifiers in Kampala.
And the game against Vipers was a good litmus test ahead of the game as it presents the caliber of opposition they will come up against on the continent.
Proline put up a good account of themselves with their tactical and overall positional sense and tempo. But they lacked the urgency, attitude, width, speed plus they looked timid in the final third to inflict any serious damage to their opponents.
Safe to say that they lacked key figures like defender Mustafa Mujjuzi and last season club top scorer Bright Anukani who are still on the national duty with the Cranes.
Despite their short comings, Proline are a talented, exciting and pretty much a work in progress bunch.
What they said.
“Vipers gave us a good test as we look at embarking on our Confederations Cup campaign. We lacked a couple of first team players who are with the national team but that still helped us asses the team as it provided us the opportunity to test other members of the squad,” Shafik Bisaso, Proline FC head coach.
“I am happy with the boys; the discipline and character they have exhibited today. We still need to work on certain aspects of our game like our transition were not on cue but we shall have to work on that going forward,” Edward Golola, Vipers SC head Coach
“It’s exciting to be voted man of the match on my debut. I thank the club, my coaches, fellow players and the fans who have been really supportive of me. I need to build on this going forward and make sure I do my best for the club,” Abdul Karim Watambala, Viper SC player.
Vipers will now face the winner between Mbarara City and URA FC at the Semi-finals.