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League heavyweights were able to get maximum points with small winning margins against rookies
Vipers SC defeated UPDF FC 1-0, while Sports Club Villa eliminated Malaba Youth Sports Association by the same score during Ugandan Premier League action on Saturday.
Yunus Ssenatmu scored for the Venoms while the Jogoos won their respective match courtesy of the Norbert Kazibwe strike.
UPDF goalkeeper Yusuf Wasswa denied the Vipers twice in the first 10 minutes in which the hosts were more dominant. Wasswa stopped a shot from Karim Watambala before denying Ssentamu to break the deadlock shortly after.
An alert Wasswa made a great save again in the 20th minute when he stopped a free kick from Allan Kayiwa that headed to the upper right corner.
A combination between Ceasar Manzoki and Kayiwa could have produced the first goal in the 24th minute but the former failed to connect with his teammate’s final pass.
Coach Fred Kajoba had to make a substitution in the 36th minute when Joseph Dhata was injured and was replaced by Dennis Mwemezi.
Wasswa was even more vigilant in the final five minutes of the first half to disprove the champions, who launched numerous attacks in search of an elusive starter, before heading back into the tunnel.
After Wasswa denied it several times, Kayiwa was retired in the 45th minute and David Bagoole took his place.
Kajoba made another tactical change in the 58th minute when he brought in the experienced Dan Sserunkuma to replace Watambala.
The Venoms finally made the breakthrough in the 85th minute when Ssenatamu managed to get past Wasswa.
The late goal was enough to give the league champions a small win against high-flying debutants.
Meanwhile, a Kazibwe goal in the 82nd minute is all it took for the Jogoos to score three points against the struggling debutants.
The home win is the third for record champions who are hoping for a better season than they did in previous seasons.