By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Arua: Despite Vipers SC creating better chances during the match, Onduparaka FC were resilient and had goalkeeper Yusuf Wasswa to thank following the brilliant performance that saw him named man of the match.
This was the fourth time, the Venoms and Caterpillars were facing off in Arua with the last three engagements ending in barren goalless draws. The only win belongs to Onduparaka during the 2016/17 season.
Vipers SC search for their first win away against Onduparaka FC still continues after the two sides settled for a barren stalemate at the Green Light stadium on Saturday.
Both coaches made changes from the teams that played the previous games. Onduparaka’s coach Livingstone Mbabazi handed former Vipers striker Julius Malingumu his debut while right back Gasper Adriko made his first start.
On the other hand, Edward Golola made one change from the team that won against Bul FC with Brian Kalumba starting ahead of Dan Sserunkuma.
There was an early scare for Vipers SC shot-stopper Fabien Mutombora in the 5th minute when he had a collision with Malingumu but he turned to his feet after the medics attended to him.
The first chance of the game came in the 7th minute with Paul Willa attempting off a free kick after a foul on Frank Tumwesigye but his effort went wide.
Leading goal scorer Fahad Bayo headed a few inches off target three minutes later when he was picked by Willa’s fine cross.
On the other end, the hosts’ first realistic chance fell to Caesar Okhuti at the quarter-hour mark when he combined well with skipper Gadaffi Wahab but the former failed to find the target, firing wide.
Another chance for the Caterpillars fell to Adriko at the 27th-minute mark but his chipped attempt rattled the crossbar.
There was a penalty appeal by Vipers when Tuwesigye went down in the area but referee Ronald Madanda waved for play on and the two teams went into the mandatory break with no breakthrough, Vipers SC got the better chances in the second half but Bayo who was blunt on the day failed to put them away.
Five minutes upon resumption, Bayo had a good chance but Okocha made a timely interception to deny the robust striker. A few minutes later, he headed wide Fahad Bayo’s cross.
In a game that turned out to be decided by goalkeepers, Wasswa once again rose to the occasion with a brilliant save in the 87th minute to deny Ashraf Fadiga Mugume who had replaced Zaga.
The draw leaves Vipers SC top of the table on 21 points while Onduparaka FC remains 4th on the log.
Ondupara FC Starting XI: Yusuf Wasswa, Gasper Adriko, Rashid Okocha, Ramadhan Dudu, Rashid Muhammed, Rajab Kakooza, Paul Dumba,Gaddafi Wahab, Ceasar Okhuti, Gibson Adinho, Julius Malingumu
Vipers SC Starting XI: Fabien Mutombora, Paul Willa, Aziz Kayondo, Bashir Asiku, Halid Lwaliwa, Siraje Ssentamu, Bobos Byaruhanga, Frank Zaga Tumwesigye, Fahad Bayo, Brian Kalumba, Allan Kayiwa