Defender Hassan Mahmood found the back of the net thrice as he helped Police FC to rally from a goal down to defeat Mbarara City FC 3-1 in a StarTimes Uganda Premier league game played at the MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo on Wednesday evening.
In the entertaining first half, the home side, Police FC had the first attempt at goal in the second minute of the game but Frank Tumwesigye failed to put his effort past Mohammad Ssekeba in the Mbarara City goal.
Two minutes afterwards it was the Ankole lions turn to attack the police end after Semugabi headed flick found Henry Kitengenyi in the opposition box. Kitengenyi controlled the ball, shot it but his effort was saved by the on rushing Tom Ikara.
Ssekeba then comfortably saved Ruben Kimera’s freekick in the 17th minutes before the game witnessed it’s first yellow card which was handed to Kitegenyi after a horrible foul on Kimera.
From a poor defending by Kimera, Mbarara broke the deadlock through Semugabi in the 26th minute. The youngster was set up by Edwok after he capitalized on Kimera’s poor control .
Five minutes afterwards, Brian Mululi almost levelled matters for the Cops but saw his headed effort from close range off Ducan Sseninde’s cross.
With his side lacking the composure upfront, Police head coach Abdullah Mubiru made a quick substitute, bringing on Mohammad Nsubuga and Herman Wasswa for Sseninde and Muwadda Mawejje.
From then on after the substitutions, Police dominated proceedings until they scored just before the halftime break as Hassan Mahmoud rose high at the far post to head in the equaliser after an exquisite assist by Johnson Odongo.
The game went into the break with the scores tied up but Mbaràra was the better side of the half.
The Cops created the first goal scoring opportunity of the second half as Kimera shot from outside after being set up by Mululi but his effort was saved by Ssekeba just three minutes from the break.
Kitegenyi then wasted a brilliant chance to restore Ankole lions’ lead in the 56th minute when he failed to shot at the goal with just Ikara to beat after Semugabi rose high to head the ball into his path..
Just at the hours mark, Police went ahead after a Odong cornerkick from the left found Wasswa who rose high to head the ball onto the upright, but Mahmood rebounded the ball past Ssekeba and into the back of net for his and Cops second.
A few minutes afterwards, Ikara made a brilliant save to deny Kitegenyi who bulleted the ball from outside the box after winning an exchange against Sylvester Ssemakula.
Hassan Mahmood completed his hattrick in the 67th minutes when his freekick from almost 30 yards failed to beat Mbarara’s defensive wall but the ball rebounded into Mahmood’s path to shoot it low and hard past Ssekeba and into the left bottom corner of the goal.
With today’s win, Police move back to fourth spot on the SUPL log with 23 points garnered in 11 games while Mbarara stay 13th with just 10 points.