After eight months, top-flight football in Uganda returned as the 2020/21 StarTimes Uganda Premier League kicked off with 13-time league champions KCCA visiting Bright Stars at the Kavumba Recreation Grounds in Wakiso.
The Kasasiro Boys laboured to a 2-1 victory over Bright Stars who were left to rue a couple of missed chances especially in the second half.
KCCA coach Mike Mutebi handed debuts to five of his new signings including Denis Iguma, Ashiraf Mugume, Stefano Mazengo, Brian Aheebwa and Samson Kigozi.
On the other hand, Baker Mbowa who was in charge of his first game in charge of the club handed debuts to Benson Wagima, Simon Kato Ssemayange, Allan Katwe and Jamil Kisitu.
It is the visitors who started a thread better and nearly went ahead but Hassan Musana put the ball into the side netting from Kigozi’s cross.
The Kasasiro Boys went ahead inside 20 minutes, Aheebwa volleying the ball into the back of the net after showing strength and great technic to control Kezironi Kizito’s lofted ball into the area.
Aheebwa’s pace and strength was proving a handful for the Bright Stars defenders, and his used both attributes to set up KCCA’s second.
The former Mbarara City striker beat Derrick Ngoobi for pace and squared for Sam Ssenyonjo for a simple tap in to double KCCA’s lead in the 27th minute.
Bright Stars stepped up their chase for a way back into the game, and nearly drew a goal back but Ronald Ssempala wasted a good opportunity, placing his effort over the cross bar with only Charles Lukwago to beat.
At the start of the second half, KCCA made two changes, bringing on Juma Balinya and Charles Lwanga the debuts in place of Ashiraf Mugume and Ssenyonjo at the start of the second half, while Augustine Kacancu was brought on for Jamil Nvule Kisitu.
Bright Stars started the better side, and created a couple of problems for the KCCA defence. A low cross from Julius Akandanwaho ff the left found Ronald Ssempala inside the box, but the striker’s feeble shot was cleared off the line by Iguma.
KCCA were lucky to survive conceding a penalty after the ball struck Mazengo’s hand inside the area, with Kacancu’s effort saved by Lukwago.
Bright Stars’ period of dominance in the second half paid off as they pulled a goal back with seven minutes to go. Akandanwaho heading past Lukwago from Joseph Janjali’s cross.
Mbowa’s boys pilled some late pressure in a bid to salvage at least a draw, but KCCA managed to hold on to get their season off to a positive start.
KCCA Starting XI: Charles Lukwago, Denis Iguma, Peter Magambo, Herbert Achayi, Samson Kigozi, Ashraf Mugume, Hassan Musana, Kezironi Kizito, Stefano Mazengo, Brian Aheebwa, Samuel Ssenyonjo
Bright Stars XI: Benson Wagima, Andrew Kaggwa, Simon Kato Ssemayange, Derrick Ngoobi, Allan Katwe, Sulaiman Ssebbunza, Joseph Janjali, Marvin Joseph, Ronald Ssempala, Jamil Kisitu, Nvule Joseph Akandwanaho