Police FC reclaimed second spot (courtesy of a better goal difference) in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League following their 3-1 victory over Onduparaka at the MTN Omondi Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Johnson Odong scored his second brace in four games with Eric Ssenjobe adding a third as the Cops picked up just their second league victory over Onduparaka.
Police FC coach Abdallah Mubiru made three changes to his line up from their previous game handing starts to Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye and Duncan Sseninde who were returning from injury.
Tom Ikara started in goal in the place of Derrick Ochan who made the bench despite his red card against Vipers overturned following an appeal by the club.
The changes, especially in midfield, provided the spark for the Cops who had a better start with their trademark short passes creating nervy moments for Onduparaka.
The sustained period of dominance on the ball did pay off for the hosts as they were awarded a penalty after defender Mahdi Ajobe handled Brian Muluuli’s goal bound header.
Odong stepped up to score his third goal of the season from the penalty spot. The Cops kept on probing but would carry a single goal lead into the half time break.
Onduparaka who had won their last three away games had all to play for in the second half and came back all guns blazing after the restart.
Six minutes into the second half, the Caterpillars drew level through Emma Oketcho’s solo goal.
The midfielder picked up the ball in the centre, danced his way past four Police defenders before coolly finishing in the bottom right corner.
The game seemed to have cooled off after the equaliser as both sides looked to be waiting for the perfect opportunity to land what would be the killer punch.
Defender Eric Ssenjobe delivered the breakthrough for the Cops with an overhead kick that sailed past Micheal Kagiri in the Onduparaka goal in the 77th minute.
As Onduparaka committed men forward in search of the leveller, Odong put the game beyond their reach with four minutes to go.
A swift break engineered by Sseninde down the left saw the forward play Muluuli through on goal, with the striker setting up Odong to tap into an empty net.
Police’s fifth win of the season sees them go joint second with Express on 19 points, two points behind leaders Vipers. Onduparaka stay seventh on the table on 15 points.
Onduparaka will host champions Vipers in Arua on Friday, February 26 while Police are away to Bright Stars at the Kavumba Recreation grounds on Saturday.
How they lined up
Police FC XI: Tom Ikara (GK), Denis Rukundo, Muhamood Hassan, Henry Katongole, Eric Ssenjobe, Tonny Mawejje, Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye, Duncan Sseninde, Muwadda Mawejje, Johnson Odong, Brian Muluuli
Subs: Derrick Ochan (GK), Joseph Ssemtume, Ruben Kimera, Sylvester Ssemakula, Herman Wasswa, George Kiryowa, Tonny Kiwalazi
Onduparaka XI: Micheal Kagiri, Mahdi Ajobe, Denis Andama, Augustine Akoch, Kabon Living, Muhamad Kyeline, Hakim Magombe, Emma Oketcho, Richard Okotcha, Najib Tusaba
Subs: Augustine Opoka, Adinho Gibson, Osxar Agaba, Gabriel Matata, Moses Okot, Yakubu Ramadhan, John Rogers