By Baron Kironde
Striker Fazila Ikwaput has inspired Lady Doves to their first-ever FUFA Women Super League (FWSL) title.
The Masindi side beat UCU Lady Cardinals 2-1 in the finals to be crowned Champions after late drama saw Ikwaput come on, score and go off.
The striker’s lightning pace, scissor runs and quick dribbles and a sharp eye for goal make her stand out from other girls.
That explains why she swept everything at the awards ceremony; she was voted MVP of the tournament, while her eight goals from six matches earned her the top scorer’s accolade.
The Champions had 11 goals and one person scored eight of them.
The last time Ikwaput was scoring for fun like this, she led Olila High School to their only title in the inaugural FUFA Women Cup in 2017.
She was at the time voted MVP – FUFA Women’s Cup 2017 and Female Football Player of the year 2017. Three years after, and the pencil-thin striker is back at it again!
When the Lady Doves touched down at the FUFA Technical centre- Njeru, Ikwaput spearheaded the hunt for victory from the word go.
The striker single-handedly took Isra Soccer Academy’s matters into her own hands in the opening match.
The slim attacker expeditiously scored a quadruple past the intimidated Isra keeper Kasana- as if for fun.
Three points and five goals for Lady Doves. Four of those to Ikwaput’s name. Lydia Nyandera scored the other.
The second game for Lady Doves set Ikwaput against her former employers Olila High School.
She nevertheless continued with her scoring spree, netting her fifth goal at the tournament to give Lady Doves the lead at the break before Siporosa Amoding levelled matters.
The third game for Lady Doves was a ‘real test’ as for the first time in the competition, they conceded first.
Hasifa Nasuna converted from the spot in the 19th minute to put UCU Lady Cardinals ahead. Ten minutes later, Ikwaput would stand up to the task and cancel out the lead, tying the game.
Towards the end of the game, Ikwaput stood up to convert from the spot to fire Lady Doves into the lead after she was brought down in the box by UCU’s Shadia Nankya.
Notably, in the match against She Corporate that Ikwaput didn’t score, Lady Doves drew 0-0. Lady Doves completed the group stage with seven points and eight goals, seven of them Ikwaput’s.
In the semi-final match against Kawempe Moslem, Lady Doves took a heavy hit as Ikwaput limped off the field after only 30 minutes.
In absence of Ikwaput, Riticia Nabbosa stood in to save the day, sending Lady Doves to the finals where they would later meet UCU Lady Cardinals again.
The final bend, classic as you want it. The Wednesday final presented a repeat of 2019 final in which UCU Lady Cardinals got over the Lady Doves.
Lineups for the game were read, and Ikwaput for Lady Doves was on the bench.
Fortunate enough, for Lady Doves minus their unique striker, a penalty was awarded to them after UCU’s Mercy Nabulobi handled the ball inside the box. Elizabeth Nakigozi stepped up to take it, and she scored.
UCU Lady Cardinals, however, with only 15 minutes left got the equalizer through Sandra Kisakye.
Lady Doves’ Coach Rajab Muyinza immediately introduced Ikwaput with 75 minutes to try and turn things around, and she did, barely ten minutes later.
Fazila Ikwaput restored Lady Doves’ lead in the 84th minute. Muyinza might insist that it was tactical, but that was a gamble that paid off, thanks to Ikwaput.
More drama ensued, and emotions erupted as Ikwaput didn’t play any longer after scoring. She was replaced by Olivia Birungi.
After the full-time whistle, Lady Doves had two goals, one more than UCU Lady Cardinals and Lady Doves finally got their sweet revenge. And that’s how Lady Doves are the 2020/21 FWSL Championship.