A classic battle is in prospect as SC Villa, coming off a morale-boosting win over KCCA, visit URA, who are desperate to kick-start their Azam Uganda Premier League campaign, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.
URA FC seemed like they had turned the corner when their four-game winless and goalless streak ended with a 4-0 mauling of Bul FC at Namboole stadium. Yet, it turned out to be a flash in the pan as URA followed that up with a 0-1 loss to Bright Stars FC in Mwererwe.
That is not the kind of result URA needed to boost their confidence, and are now desperate to pick one major scalp and get their season going before it all falls apart.
URA assistant coach James Odoch said: “We know we have a team that can beat anyone. But we have not been as effective. We need to push our lack.”
And there is no reason for that not to happen. With players like Shafik Kagimu, Saidi Kyeyune, Henry Kisekka and Nicholas Kagaba, there is quality in URA. But they have not played in a manner fitting of that.
In fact, in the six games URA has played so far, the two wins registered, have come against UPDF FC and Bul, two small opponents.
Against KCCA FC and Express FC recently, URA failed to score. A win in any of those games would have proved intent and fortitude.
“That is why we must beat Villa. To remain competitive, we cannot lose to our main rivals. Yet, beating them would push us forward,” Odoch, a former Villa player, said.
There is a lot that binds URA and Villa. URA acquired midfielder Dennis Kamanzi and defender Paul Mbowa from Villa this season. In addition, the head and assistant URA coaches both played for Villa; so, there is history there. So, they know what playing for the Jogoos meant - winning by hook or by crook.
Last weekend, Villa went into its game with KCCA, having not won in eight previous league encounters.
But Villa ended that bad run with a 2-1 win. And it is on that wave that Villa’s assistant coach Paul Mukatabala sees the team riding.
“Right now, we have a lot of passion. It enabled us overcome KCCA. It should do the same when we meet URA tomorrow.”
Mukatabala added that the players now have a spring in their step: “Beating major rivals creates fear in the rest of the league, and it is that aura of invincibility that Villa wants to get again if it is to win the league again.”
For that matter, Villa aims to exploit URA’s vulnerability and uncertainty now, by beginning the game on Saturday on the front foot.
Mukatabala says an early goal could boost URA’s confidence in the game. The taximen are missing Brian Majwega and Richard Kasagga.
UG PREMIER LEAGUE
Mbarara v Vipers@Kakyeka
Bul v Onduparaka@Kakindu
KCCA v Masavu@StarTimes
URA v SC Villa@Namboole
Kirinya v Soana@Bugembe