Muhamad Shaban made a goalscoring return to action as Vipers SC got their 2020/21 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season underway with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Wakiso Giants at the Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium, Wakiso on Saturday afternoon.
Shaban was among five debutants who were handed their first league starts for the club by coach Fred Kajoba. Others were Disan Galiwango, David Bagoole, Jamil Kaliisa and Joseph Dhata.
The forward’s league debut came a year after his move to the club, with the player only making the bench in their Super Cup triumph against KCCA in 2019 as he has been kept out with a knee injury.
Vipers who were playing in their first game of the season, took the lead in the seventh minute, Shaban rising at the near post to glance Galiwango’s corner into the back of the net.
The Venoms continued probing Wakiso inside the opening 15 minutes looking dangerous especially from corners but Shaban and Paul Mucureezi put their headers off the target.
The game seemed to slow down a bit for the remainder of the first half with Wakiso dominating possession but creating mainly half chances.
Early in the second half, Wakiso goalkeeper Derrick Emukule pulled off two saves to keep his side in the game.
Second half substitute Ibrahim Orit drew a fine save from Emukule after the ball fell into his path inside the 16-yard box.
At the hour mark, Emukule again brilliantly saved from Orit from close range with the forward rushing onto a poor headed clearance by Edward Satulo.
Wakiso found the leveller in the 66th minute, Vianne Ssekajugo who was playing his first game of the season after recovering from COVID-19 was played through by Simon Namwanja and the striker’s bullet shot beat Fabien Mutombora at the near post.
The draw is Wakiso’s third draw of the season, and they climb to ninth place on the log with a trip to Onduparaka up next on Tuesday.
Vipers meanwhile will look to bounce back from the disappointment when they host Airtel Kitara on Wednesday, December 16.
Vipers SC XI: Fabien Mutombora, Paul Willa, Rashid Toha, Aziz Kayondo, Siraje Ssentamu (C), Joseph Dhata, Disan Galiwango, Jamil Kaliisa, David Bagoole, Muhamad Shaban, Paul Mucureezi
Wakiso Giants XI: Derrick Emukule, Geriga Atendele, Hassan Wasswa Dazo, Edward Satulo, Simon Namwanja, Lawrence Bukenya, Hassan Ssenyonjo, Ibrahim Kasule, Vianne Ssekajugo, Pius Kaggwa, Yasin Mugume