The battle for qualification to the knockout round of the Nile Special University Football League heats up tomorrow when Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) host former champions Kampala University (KU) this afternoon at Nkozi.
With Nkumba, Kyambogo and Makerere all but assured of qualification to the quarterfinal, today’s clash could determine which team takes up the fourth slot.
Both teams have suffered back-to-back defeats in their opening two games and will be looking to finally win a game this season. For Joseph Sekandi, the UMU team manager, the encounter against Kampala University is a critical test that he is sure his side will pass.
“For us this game is like a final as it is one that will determine whether or not we make it to the knockout stage,” Sekandi said.
“Since we are playing at home, I am almost certain of victory as our first two games have been in hostile grounds and it has been difficult for us to play our game the way we are used to,” he added
UMU will be boosted by the return of Jesse Lukoki and Ibrahim Ngida to the starting lineup to tighten their midfield. Meanwhile, it is easy to forget that Kampala University are former champions of the UFL, given their poor start this season. But that pedigree will be the biggest inspiration for their coach Vincent ‘Titi’ Tumusiime in his bid to overcome UMU.
“For us to fail qualifying for the next round is unthinkable. It would be absurd when we go to Nkozi, we shall not hold back. We are going to have to play at our very best game and I am sure the boys are as determined as I am,” he said.
Tumusiime blamed his team’s current position on the fixture list but is confident that his team will finally get a good result to kick-start their quest to win a second title.
“We began with ger oppositions in the group and although we tried our best to get the points, we failed. But against Nkozi, I am sure we will get the three points,” he said.
Kampala University will also take comfort in the fact that they have emerged victorious in all their previous encounters with UMU and will be looking to continue along the same lines. On Thursday, former champions Makerere University travel to Kyambogo University in what should be another exciting encounter.
Source : The Observer