By Fred Mwambu
Striker Frank Kalanda scored a penalty to ensure that Express returned to the top of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) with a 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Kitara in Kavumba yesterday.
That kick from 12 yards, awarded for defender Patrick Mugume handling in the box on 75 minutes, gave the Red Eagles league leadership on 25 points. They are one ahead of Vipers and third-placed URA after 11 of the 30 matches.
The unbeaten Venoms can reclaim the summit with a draw against on-form Solitilo Bright Stars who visit St Mary's Stadium, Kitende. The latter have not lost in seven and lie ninth on 14 points after a slow start.
"Kitara played for a draw and gave us no room to play. I'm glad that we are gaining quick results which makes many believe that the title may come earlier than we expected," Express coach Wasswa Bbosa noted.
They could also look over their shoulders for URA for whom Steven Mukwala, last season's top scorer, bagged his fifth of the season in a 1-0 win away at UPDF, sixth on 18, in Bombo.
However, the day perhaps belonged to the young KCCA forward Sadat Anaku whose hat trick underlined a 4-0 thumping of Busoga United to lift the resurgent former champions to fourth on 20 points. The youngster who missed the first nine match days because of late registration was on target as early as the second minute sweeping in a well-laid Bright Anukani pass at the Fufa Technical Centre in Njeru.
Anaku added his second and third in the 57th and 88th before Lwanga sealed the win. "I was disappointed not to have scored in our last game [vs. Kitara] but am happy for today's hattrick," Anaku said. "I have longed for one (a hat trick) in the league. My focus is taking the golden boot just like I have been doing in the Juniors League," he added.
Prior to that, KCCA then struggled for rhythm which forced manager Mike Mutebi to introduce Keziron Kizito and Lwanga for Ashraf Mugume and Brian Aheebwa correspondingly.
"We struggled to play our game in the first half because they were very compact in the midfield. This made it hard for us to penetrate," KCCA's assistant coach Jackson Magera explained.
Later at the same venue, a 10-man SC Villa overcame Kyetume 1-0 with midfielder Abdallah Salim scoring the winner after coming off the bench.
Captain Asuman Harishe was sent off in the 76th minute for two bookable offences within two minutes of each other. Villa is seventh on 18 points while Kyetume have 11 in 12th after sacking coach Livingstone Mbabazi.
At the Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium in Wakisha, Wakiso Giants rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-all with second-from-bottom Myda, who earned their second point, one more than Kitara have accumulated.
UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
Busoga United 0-4 KCCA
Kyetume 0-1 SC Villa
Kitara 0-1 Express
Onduparaka 0-1 BUL
UPDF 0-1 URA
Wakiso Giants 1-2 Myda
TODAY'S FIXTURES - 4PM
Police vs. Mbarara, Lugogo
Vipers vs. Bright Stars, Kitende