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The Red Eagles failed to win their first game of the season after fighting to draw in Arua
Express FC gave up a 1-0 lead in the second half to settle for a 1-1 draw against Onduparaka FC in a Ugandan Premier League (UPL) match in Arua on Saturday.
The Red Eagles came into the game looking for a positive start and actually took a well-deserved lead in the 11th minute when Frank Kalanda converted from the penalty spot.
However, despite holding the lead for most of the game, they were denied maximum points when Living Kabon tied things for the home team in the 68th minute after unleashing a thunderous shot from outside the area.
Express, who have promised to fight for the title this season, started the game on a high note and saw Kalanda miss a clear opportunity in the fifth minute after circling the Onduparaka baseline but shooting wide.
However, Kalanda had a chance to score when Young Mahad fouled her inside the box, and she gladly took the honors to send the goalkeeper down the long road for the first goal.
Despite taking the lead, Express still looked vulnerable at the back and needed the experience of Uganda international defender Murushid Juuko to deny Onduparaka, as he ran to clear a ball that rolled into an empty net in the 18th minute.
Express’s Godfrey Lwesibawa was booked in the 20th minute as Onduparaka continued to search for a leveler that never came, with teams heading into halftime with Express leading 1-0.
In matches played on Friday, URA FC and Mbarara City settled for a 1-1 draw at Kakyeka Stadium.
The result saw the two top-tier rivals share the points, as the tie is the sixth between them in as many games. Steven Mukwala scored for URA, while Jude Ssemugabi helped the Ankole Lions fight to save the point.
Mbarara City could have opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, but was denied it by the post, while tax collectors broke the deadlock eight minutes later, after the carpentry saved them.
Mukwala, who was making his URA debut, was assisted by Joachim Ojera to open his scoring account. The striker could have scored a double in the 48th minute, but Muhammad Ssekaba denied him the penalty.
In the 81st minute, Ssemugabi scored the equalizer as the two teams shared the points in their first Premier League match.
Meanwhile, Sports Club Villa and BUL FC recorded a high-scoring tie by settling at a 2-2 draw. Emmanuel Wasswa and Nicholas Kabonge scored for the record UPL champions, while Richard Wandyaka and Musa Esenu were the scorers for BUL in the 2-2 draw.
Meanwhile, Police FC and Wakiso Giants produced a 0-0 draw at MTN Omondi Stadium.