Dramatic Ugandan title race set to go to final day
The Ugandan title race will only be settled on the final day of the season after Vipers Sports Club and KCCA FC both picked up wins in their penultimate fixtures on Tuesday.
Dan Sserunkuma netted a hat-trick as Vipers thrashed relegation-threatened Express FC 5-0 to move up to 62 points, and they'll wrap up the title with a win at home against UPDF on Friday.
KCCA FC's late 2-1 victory over Bidco FC takes them to 60 points, and means that they can still retain their title if they defeat Police FC away on the final day and Vipers fail to win their fixture.
The league leaders are currently two points clear, but with an inferior goal difference of +27 to KCCA's +33, Vipers could be pipped if they slip up.
After the match, Vipers coach Miguel Da Costa complained that KCCA FC had been given additional time at the end of their match in order to find a winner against Bidco.
"We started slowly but had a good match," he told journalists. "What happened at Lugogo for KCCA FC is they played for 100 minutes.
"Let them just hand over the trophy to KCCA FC," he complained. "We shall wait until the final game against UPDF FC on Friday."
Sserunkuma's hat-trick ensures he moves atop the scoring charts with 16 goals, one ahead of Bright Stars FC's Nelson Senkatuka.
Geoffrey Waiswa and Duncan Sseninde scored the other goals for Vipers to leave Express FC 15th on the log.
"I am happy that I made a move from Express FC early this year to Vipers because we are close to winning the title," said the hat-trick hero, who top-scored for Gor Mahia in the 2012 Kenya Premier League season. "I am also happy that I am now the leading scorer."
The defending champions, fresh from defeating African giants Al Ahly in the group stage of the CAF Champions League, needed an injury-time Derrick Nsibambi winner to down ninth-placed Bidco and keep their title hopes alive.
Nsibambi had given the home side the lead after 21 minutes, before Jean Pierre Kambale Muhindo made it 1-1 after 81 minutes.
"We could see the same reaction as there was against Al Ahly," KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi told KweséESPN. "We played some very good football, and for about 80 minutes the ball was in the field of play.
"We go into the last game on Friday still believing we can retain the trophy, although Vipers are in pole position."
Mutebi learned after the match that his father had passed away having been hospitalised for three months following an accident.
A Vipers victory would see the Wakiso Town-based outfit win their third championship after triumphs in the 2009-10 and 2014-15 campaigns, when the club was still known as Bunamwaya FC.
Meanwhile, six-time champions Express will be relegated unless they defeat bottom-placed Masavu FC on Friday, and even that might not be enough if other results go against them.