George Ssenkaaba’s superb strike in the second half lifted Express FC to a 1-0 victory over rivals SC Villa at the Betway Muteesa II Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Eagles had failed to beat their rivals in 12 meetings, their last win coming in April 2017, via a solo goal from former midfielder Allan Kyambadde.
Express FC boss Wasswa Bbosa made just one change to his line up, starting captain Enock Walusimbi who was returning from suspension ahead of Denis Mbuya.
On the other hand, SC Villa boss Edward Kaziba made just one change to his team that won against KCCA on Tuesday, Saidi Keni starting in goal ahead of Meddie Kibirige.
Defender Joseph Nsubuga and Faizo Kazibwe were named among the substitutes with Fred Agandu and Fahad Badiro missing the game.
Express FC had the first chance to go into the lead as Godfrey Lwesibawa who was vibrant in the opening minutes picked up Eric Kambale whose header rattled the crossbar.
With chances far between, the derby did serve up its sourer spice as a couple of late challenges came flying in especially against Express FC players. The referee dishing out a couple of yellow cards and stern warnings to keep the physicality in check.
The Red Eagles who just edged out their rivals in the first half went ahead two minutes into the second half, Ssenkaaba choosing the ultimate moment to score his first goal for the club and in emphatic style off Frank Kalanda’s pass.
Express continued to have a slight edge in possession with the Jogoo never settling into the game. Kambale, Kalanda were heavily involved while second-half substitute Frank Ssenyondo created a couple of opportunities with his pace.
Kambale was nearly gifted a second with 15 minutes to play, Keni was beaten to the ball by the striker whose lofted ball over the goalkeeper failed to find the target.
The Jogoo failed to impose themselves on the game, and while Salim Abdallah’s introduction created a light spark in the midfield, they rarely troubled Express goalkeeper Mathias Muwanga.
To sum up their poor evening, Kaziba’s side registered just three shots on target with only one coming in the first half while they made 11 fouls in the opening 45 minutes.
Villa goalkeeper who was at fault for their goal survived a red card deep into added time as he seemed to have landed an elbow on Express striker Kambale.
The victory lifted Express above Villa into fifth on eight points, a point above Villa who falls into sixth as the league takes a long break until February 2021.