BUL FC edged Express FC by a 1-0 scoreline in the second semi-final of the Stanbic Uganda Cup to squeeze through to their first ever final of the tournament at the FUFA Technical Center, Njeru.
From an Express FC point of view though, the abysmal performance exhibited on this evening was not the only thing that caught attention, but also the first half kit that was used.
The Red Eagles played in a plain white jersey without the logo of their key sponsor (Betway) and the reason apparently seems to be because they had only travelled with the red home kit.
The Jinja side (BUL FC) being the home team in the fixture chose against wearing their traditional green and wore red forcing Wasswa Bbosa’s boys to adjust.
The reigning Uganda Premier League champions however changed to their original away kit thanks to a delivery made at halftime by a representative from the club.
BUL however showcased incredible guile from the start of the game to finish, defending with steadiness, discipline and stamina to overcome the record holders in the Thursday, September 23, 2021 bout.
The Red Eagles’ display was far from their usual best especially in the opening half, struggling to make decent chances, defending awfully as well.
In a dull first half showing from either team, it’s Bul who managed to find a silver lining, breaking the deadlock after 25 minutes through Owen Mukisa’s curling effort inside the box.
Express failed to find a response from an absolutely dismal half where they failed to manage a single attempt on target.
The second stanza started slightly better, with Ivan Mayanja drawing a top-class save from goalkeeper Shanon Mulabi with 47 minutes on the clock.
The ‘Mukwano Gwabanji’ nearly found the leveller after 56 minutes but Mayanja’s looping header unluckily crashed against the woodwork.
Unusually quiet, star-man Eric Kambale nearly redeemed his day but could not make great contact from skipper Enock Walusimbi’s cross, allowing Mulabi to comfortably deal with his tame shot after 66 minutes.
On 74 minutes, Express’ Otim nearly made a costly howler as he struggled to deal with Isa Lumu’s back-pass but eventually managed to clear his lines.
The Reds thought they had equalized at 76 minutes but forward George Ssenkaaba was deemed offside by the linesman.
Express piled more pressure in the last ten minutes but did not make notable chances having been met by a resilient Bul defense until in the 90th minute when Charles Musiige missed the target by a whisker.
Kambale’s frustration continued when his extremely poor header went straight to the goalkeeper’s gloves.
BUL FC will now look to win their maiden Uganda Cup when they take on one-time champions Vipers at the same ground on Sunday, September 26.
How they lined up
Express: Dennis Otim(GK), Enock Walusimbi (c), Issa Lumu, Arthur Kiggundu, Murushid Juuko, John Byamukama, Yaya Kakooza, Muzamir Mutyaba, George Ssenkaaba, Eric Kambale, Martin Kizza
Substitutions: Kusiima(GK), Daniel Mubuya, Richard Bbosa, D. Shabene, Ivan Mayanja, Charles Musiige, M. Etrude
BUL: Samuel Mulabi, Kiggundu, Gwoto, Akol, Madoi, Ibrahim Mugulusi, Mukisa, Kabaale, Apremu, Musa Esenu, Semujju.
Substitutions: Okurutu, Kiirya