Police FC assumed control of their Stanbic Uganda Cup quarterfinal tie against Wakiso Giants with a 3-1 first leg victory at the Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium on Thursday.
Goals from Derrick Kakooza, Yusuf Ssozi and Ben Ocen saw the Cops come from a goal down to earn their first victory in seven games in all competitions.
Wakiso flew out of the traps and had a couple of good opportunities inside the opening minutes which culminated in an own goal from Ruben Kimera.
But Police whose major concern was the fitness of a couple of their first team players managed to subsidize their hosts’ blistering start and took control of proceedings.
Kakooza drew them level in the 12th minute with his fourth goal in all competitions, running onto Ssozi’s long ball to slot past Samson Kirya.
Police continued to take control of the contest, restricting the Purple Sharks to the odd sight of goal. Frank Ssebuufu’s curling effort sailed wide of the target.
Vianney Ssekajugo failed to capitalise on Kimera’s lethargic defending shooting straight at Tom Ikara, and from the next passage of play, the visitors took a crucial away lead.
Police in signature style played through Wakiso’s press, with defender Hassan Muhamood who was returning to the side from injury slipping a pass through Wakiso’s high line for Ssozi.
With the flag staying down, Ssozi rounded Kirya before slotting into an empty net, a decision that left Wakiso coach Douglas Bamweyana furious, making his feelings fully known to the officials at half-time.
Both sides were drawn into changes in the first half, Police coach Abdallah Mubiru sent on Ocen for Tony Kiwalaze who suffered a concussion.
On the other hand, Bamweyana had seen enough of struggling Faizul Anini, Tom Masiko taking his spot.
Wakiso continued to push for a leveller, but it is the Cops that extended their lead, Ocen beating their high line to a long ball and slotting past Kirya in the 65th minute.
Wakiso put on a full-blown attempt to wrestle the game back and were on top through the final 20 minutes. Masiko’s shot from range beat Ikara but was wide of the target.
Rahmat Ssenfuka, Vianney Ssekajugo, and Ssebuufu all came close but nothing fell for them as critical seconds ticked away.
The result leaves Police FC in prime position of progressing to the semi-finals of the Uganda Cup in next Friday’s return leg at the MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo.
Wakiso Giants XI: Samson Kirya (Gk), Fahad Kawooya, Edward Satulo, George Kaddu, Geriga Atendele, Joshua Lubwama, Faizul Anini, Rahmat Ssenfuka, Vianney Ssekajugo, Frank Ssebuufu, Pius Kaggwa
Police FC XI: Tom Ikara, Eric Ssenjobe, Joseph Ssentume, Hassan Muhamood, Tonny Kiwalaze, Tonny Mawejje, Ruben Kimera, Yusuf Ssozi, Fahad Kizito, Derrick Kakooza, Duncan Sseninde