Thousands show up for Namboole test matches

Euphoric supporters of football in Uganda turned up to support their clubs in the Uganda Premier League during the two test matches at Namboole stadium.
Whereas the first game was to start at 4pm, as early midday, supporters had started lining up with their tickets to enter the stadium that was hosting its first games in five years since its closure in 2019.

Many were seen taking selfies as they marveled at the refurbished stadium.

The games

In the opening game of the day, BUL surged to the summit of the Uganda Premier League table after edging defending champions Vipers Sports Club as Jerome Kirya made history by being the first player to score at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole since it underwent renovations.

Scoring only his third goal of the season with just three matches left, Kirya capitalized on Alex Kitata’s pinpoint cross from the left to beat Vipers goalkeeper Alfred Mudekereza low to his right.

The goal, arriving in the 26th minute, ignited jubilant celebrations not only among BUL fans as they won 1-0.

This victory marked BUL’s 14th win in 26 matches, propelling them to the top of the standings with 49 points and just three matches remaining.

Coincidentally, second-placed Kitara FC have also played and won the same number of matches, trailing the new leaders by only a point.

In the second game of the day, KCCA FC earned all the bragging rights in the Kampala derby after edging record champions, SC Villa 2-0 as the Kasasiro Boys secured a hard-fought victory beneath the floodlit ambiance of Namboole

Usama Arafat’s stellar performance, earning him the man of the match accolade  proved pivotal as he netted a commanding brace with assists from Herbert Achai and Joel Sserunjogi.

Their collective efforts put the Jogoos on the back foot, dealing a significant blow to their title aspirations.

Usama netted in the 81st minute before a near-capacity crowd at Namboole with a header from an Achai delivery that rendered Villa goalkeeper Braddy Wokorach immobile, leaving just eight minutes on the clock.

The rising star then completed his brace eight minutes after capitalizing on a mesmerizing series of passes that culminated in Sserunjogi’s  clever decoy, enabling Usama to calmly guide the ball into the net with his left foot.

With 45 points and four matches remaining, Villa, currently in fourth place, simply need to win their remaining fixtures and hope for slip-ups from the teams above them to clinch their first league title since 2004. Coincidentally their namesakes Aston Villa are currently fourth in English Premier League.

Meanwhile, KCCA could finish on 54 points if they secure victories in all four remaining matches, a tally that could be enough to secure the title if the teams ahead of them drop points.

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