Time is running out for Abdallah Mubiru and his KCCA FC charges. Failure to beat Kira Young this afternoon could all but end their slim hopes of retaining the top-flight league title, writes ELLY KYEYUNE.
During KCCA FC’s fairytale run to the league title last season, talk was rife that Mubiru was the power behind the throne. As the assistant to the affable George Nsimbe, Mubiru did most of the running around and shouting during matches and players often surrounded him for tactical analyses during breaks.
So, when Nsimbe moved on to Azam FC of Tanzania in November, Mubiru’s ascension was a mere formality.
At the time, KCCA was two points off the lead but with a game in hand, meaning Mubiru’s task was to simply match the results of the leading pair of Vipers FC and SC Villa.
Nearly five months later, he finds himself in some sort of quagmire. With just ten games to go, KCCA are a whopping 11 points behind Vipers and need to win all the remaining matches to stand a chance of clinching an eleventh league title.
That is a daunting task. Having also bowed out of the Caf Champions League at the first hurdle, their realistic only chance of silverware is the Uganda Cup.
Therefore, in many ways, today’s match at Namboole stadium is a must-win to keep their challenge alive. KCCA is winless in their last three matches and whereas Vipers and Villa have also struggled of late, the pair are well and truly in charge of their destiny.
Mubiru, who has been criticized for complicating the team’s style of play, is keen to maintain momentum.
“We are at a critical stage of the season and we have to be more prepared than ever,” he says.
Team captain Saka Mpiima has sat out the last three games, which forced Mubiru to deploy midfielder Ivan Ntege at right back. Matters have not been helped by the injury of Ronnie Kisekka in the central defence. In his place, Mubiru has been forced to experiment with wide man Joseph Ochaya.
However, Mpiima is expected to make the return against Kira now that he is back to full fitness. On the other hand, Kira Young is a rejuvenated side since the mid-season arrival of Steven Bogere as coach.
In 14th position, Kira marginally remain in the relegation zone and they will be out to punish KCCA’s laxity at their homeground, where they have proven to match the big boys on their day.
Uganda premier league
Kira Young v KCCA
Source : The Observer