By Edwin Kyle Kule
Gomba achieved their fifth Airtel Masaza Cup triumph after comfortably defeating Buddu 3-1 in the final at the St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Saturday.
Charles Bbaale, Abdallah Ssentongo and Gift Ali’s first half goals were enough to give Gomba victory while Titus Ssematimba scored the only goal for Buddu.
Only 200 guests were allowed to access the stadium with Buganda Kingdom premier Charles Peter Mayiga representing Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi at the final.
Gomba did not waste time to take the initiative in the game as Abdallah Ssentongo combined with Jackson Ssemugabi whose cross picked up Charles Bbaale to tap into an empty net two minutes into the game.
Four minutes later, Buddu drew level through Titus Ssematimba’s header from an acute angle off Sharif Ssengendo’s corner kick.
Gomba re-established their lead in the 12th minute through roving left-back George Kaddu’s beautiful free kick before Fred Gift made it three in the 18th minute.
Ssemugabi had a number of brilliant moments on the left flank as he gave right back Marvin Kavuma a hard time in office.
After the restart of the second stanza, Buddu grew in intensity and rhythm as they searched for a lifeline but Gomba custodian Francis Anguzu stood firm to keep his side’s lead intact.
Defensive midfielder George Kiryowa was forced off the pitch after suffering a hamstring injury and Derrick Mbowa was introduced as the first substitute for the Gomba Lions.
Charles Bbaale had a golden chance to secure a brace on the day after going past defender Gideon Odongo but the forward’s effort went over the target. Later on, Colline Seruwu was introduced to replace Bbaale.
Ssematimba and Frank Sebuufu clashed in a nasty challenge that forced the former off the pitch to be replaced by Emmanuel Mwesigwa.
Six minutes to the end of the game Fred Atuhwera received marching orders after a second yellow card as Gomba were reduced to 10 men.
Gomba comfortably saw the game through as the avenged their 2016 final defeat to Buddu which they lost 6-5, the first for the side since winning it in 2017.