Vipers SC missed the chance to move to the top of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League table after their 1-1 draw with BUL FC at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende, courtesy of Simon Peter Oketch’s 93rd-minute goal.
Oketch, who capitalized on Allan Kayiwa’s mistake, scored to cancel out Walter Ochora’s own goal that looked destined to grant the hosts three points on Saturday afternoon.
Despite KCCA’s 1-0 loss to URA on the evening in Ndejje, the Venoms stayed second with 30 points, one behind the former.
In a frustrating opening 45 minutes for the Venoms, their only chances came in the 10th minute as Yunus Sentamu failed to convert with the keeper to beat, after a brilliant counter-attack by Cesar Manzoki.
Five minutes after the half-hour mark, Sentamu delivered a good cross to Manzoki, whose header went straight into Saidi Keni’s gloves.
Five minutes later, with the hosts growing impatient for a breakthrough, Bright Anukani shot from outside the box, but Keni punched the ball out for a corner.
At the start of the final half, the Venoms should have grabbed the lead in the 46th minute, but Sentamu missed from close range after superb work by Milton Karisa.
Two minutes later, Ochora scored in his net off a Karisa cross to hand the home team the deserved lead.
Despite the hosts’ dominance, there were limited clear-cut chances from then on, till the 80th minute when substitute Ibrahim Orit’s goal-bound effort somehow skewed off the target.
In the 93rd minute, as the three points looked destined to stay in Kitende, Kayiwa’s howler allowed Oketch to notch in his side’s equalizer, to break the Venoms’ hearts.
Vipers will complete their first-round race with a postponed matchday three SC Villa game on Wednesday as they look to hold onto their table lead.
Meanwhile, fourth-placed(26 points) BUL will await the final draft of the second round fixtures to confirm their next opponent.
How they lined up:
Vipers SC XI: Fabien Mutombora ( GK), Paul Willa, Halid Lwalilwa (c), Aziz Kayondo, Bashir Asiku, Sirajje Ssentamu, Karim Watambala, Milton Karisa, Cesar Manzoki, Yunus Sentamu, Bright Anukani.
Substitutions: Denis Kiggundu (GK), Disan Ggaliwango, Ibrahim Orit, Allan Kayiwa, Paul Mucureezi, Dan Serunkuuma, Najib Yiga.
BUL FC XI: Said Keni(GK), Hilary Onek, Richard Ayiko, Walter Ochola, George Kasonko, Pascal Ngobi, Ibrahim Kazindula, Umar Mukobe, Reagan Kalyowa, Musa Esenu, Ibrahim Nsimbe.
Substitutions: Emmanuel Kalyowa, Fredson Gwoto, Simon Oketch, Martin Aprem, Ibrahim Mugulusi, Richard Wandyaka, Dickson Niwamanya.