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Leku header stuns Vipers, Police wins again

Alfred Leku’s seventh goal of the season ended Vipers’ 12-game unbeaten away run to stun the leaders and leave the door wide open to StarTimes Uganda Premier League title rivals.

Vipers made the trip to the Barifa Stadium in Arua knowing that victory would help them open a four-point lead at the top of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League to four points before KCCA had a chance to kick a ball.

But they found Arua Hill hard to beat, as they found an answer to every question that the Venoms asked, completing three-way over last season’s top three with Express and URA falling earlier in the season.

Leku, handed his league debut at Vipers several years ago after developing through their youth system scored the only goal of the game, with a towering header at the near post after 12 minutes, celebrating against his boyhood club.

Vipers who had struggled against the playing surface in the opening quarter were shocked into life, but they could not steal a march on Arua’s man-marking approach.

Arua Hill coach Livingstone Mbabazi’s clear plan involved planting defender Rashid Toha – playing against his former side for the first time since his move from Kitende – against Cesar Manzoki.

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Manzoki was the culprit of that approach as he was completely denied space to operate and create that link with his midfielders and striking partner Yunus Ssentamu.

The defender used his physic and presence in the air to nullify Manzoki and keep him silent throughout the game.

Vipers had averaged 2.5 goals in their 12 games this season but against the Leopards, they were limited to only four shots on goal, the best of that coming from Milton Karisa after he combined with Ssentamu following a turnover of possession.

A second defeat of the season for Vipers ends a six-game unbeaten run and leaves the door wide open for KCCA to reclaim the top spot, and also means champions Express close the gap to only three points after a 2-0 victory over Tooro United.

Elsewhere, Police FC continued their resurgence with a 1-0 victory over UPDF FC at the Bombo Barracks Grounds.

Emmanuel Mugume scored for the second game running in the 52nd minute, coming off the bench to turn-in Brian Muluuli’s cut back and help lift Abdallah Mubiru’s side into 11th position.

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Bright Stars picked up just their second victory under coach Simon Peter Mugerwa. Joseph Youngman’s goal after 55 minutes helped them to a 1-0 win over SC Villa and sees them close the gap to safety to only two points.

Wakiso Giants and BUL FC produced a classic at the Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium which saw the home side edge out their visitors 4-3 in the end.

Ibrahim Kazindula put BUL in the lead after only 17 minutes, but the Purple Sharks answered with goals from Moses Aliro and Ivan Bogere to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

Ibrahim Nsimbe levelled the game again after 64 minutes, with Kazindula restoring their lead in the 75th minute. However, goals from Aliro and substitute Tom Masiko inside the final 10 minutes of the game lifted Wakiso to victory.

The defeat sees BUL lose third pace to Express FC, while Wakiso Giants stay sixth but open up a five-point gap over seventh placed URA FC who played to their fifth draw after a 1-1 draw to Gadaffi FC.

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