By Allan Damba
Vipers SC succumbed to a third defeat this season after throwing away a precious first-half lead in their defeat to Mbarara City FC on Tuesday in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.
The home team led 2-0 at halftime but a spirited second-half display ensured the visitors spectacularly won 3-2 at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.
The victory means Mbarara City have now managed a league double over Vipers for the first time in their history.
The Venoms headed into this one with a chance to go top of the league table with either a win or a draw especially with leaders URA visiting Kyetume FC on Wednesday.
Vipers got off to a flying start, creating multiple chances before Yunus Sentamu yet again appeared on the scoresheet after 16 minutes.
The second was not far away as Sentamu’s shot was dropped into the path of Paul Mucureezi who tucked home from close range. Mucureezi could have added a third three minutes later but his thunderbolt was brilliantly thwarted by goalkeeper Muhammad Ssekeba.
In the second half, Fred Kajoba’s side did not show up as Livingstone Mbabazi’s team went all out. Four minutes to the hour mark, Solomon Okwalinga slotted home from a penalty.
Pressure built around the home team from then on and substitute Bashir Mutanda made it square after 63 minutes for his third in four games.
Five minutes to full time, Jude Ssemugabi condemned the champions to a devastating loss with a third for the Ankole Lions.
With Express FC’s 4-0 against Busoga United on Tuesday, Vipers now slip to third with 53 points. The Red Eagles are now top with 55 points as they await URA’s fixture tomorrow.
Vipers will hope to dust off their disappointment as they visit tricky side, Bright Stars on Friday.
With their confidence high, Mbarara City is now in 10th and will host Police FC on Saturday at the Kakyeka Stadium.
How they lined up:
Vipers SC XI: Fabien Mutombora (GK), Paul Willa (C), Rashid Toha, Musa Ssali, Ibrahim Orit, Ceasor Manzoki, Yunus Sentamu, Paul Mucureezi, Allan Kayiwa, Najib Yiga
Subs: Bashir Ssekagya, Lawrence Tezikya, Abraham Ndugwa, Richard Bansangwa, Joseph Dhata, Jamil Kalisa, Siraje Sentamu
Mbarara City XI: Muhammad Ssekeba (GK), Jasper Aheebwa, Solomon Okwalinga, Zaidi Byekwaso, Ronald Ocitti, Ibrahim Magandaazi, Steven Othieno, Karim Ramathan, Jude Ssemugabi, Swalik Sseguja, Innocent Wafula
Subs: Salim Huud, Bashir Mutanda, Jackson Opio, Henry Kalungi, Raymond Onyai, Ronald Edwok