Talisman Muhammad Shaban was on target as Vipers SC drew 1-all with Wakiso Giants in their StarTimes Uganda Premier League opening game at the Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium, Wakisha on Saturday evening.
The Venoms started the game the brightest and broke the deadlock in the 7th minute when Shaban met Disan Galiwango’s well taken corner kick to head the hosts into an early lead.
Few minutes later, the Venoms were denied another chance to double their lead when Disan Galiwango long range strike was saved by Emukule who was well positioned to parry the ball over the bar.
In the 12th minute, Paul Mucureezi also missed an opportunity to put his name on the scoresheet when a well crafted corner-kick from Galiwango found the former Mbarara City forward unmarked in the penalty area, only for his effort to agonizingly go above the cross bar.
In the 18th minute, the first booking of the game went to Rashid Toha when he recklessly tackled Pius Kaggwa with double feet.
Wakiso Giants then had a penalty appeal waved away by the Referee when Galiwango appeared to have pushed down Pius Kaggwa in the forbidden area.
The entertaining first half went into the break with the visitors holding onto a 1-0 lead over the Purple Sharks.
The first minutes of the last half started like the first, with the Venoms imposed a lot of pressure on the purple sharks back-line and nearly got rewarded when Galiwango cross found substitute Ibrahim Orit in the 6 yard box, but the debutant blazed the ball over the bar.
A minute on, Ibrahim Orit had another chance to double the Vipers’ lead after Shaban brilliantly connected him into the penalty area with only the goalie to beat but Emukule’s one arm reflex was enough prohibit further damage to the hosts and keep the purple sharks in the game.
In the 64th minute, across the game of play, Wakiso Giants levelled matters after a through ball by Rahmat Ssenfuka found Vianney Ssekajungo close to Vipers penalty area, where he made no mistake, beating Paul Willa by pace and burying the ball in the top left corner of Fabien Mutombora’s goal.
Moments after that equalizer, Fred Kajoba brought on Najib Yiga for Joseph Dhata in a bid to restore their lead. The Youngster almost got his name on the scoresheet in the 71st minute but was denied by Emukule.
Vipers now start the campaign with just a point in as many games, and will host Kitara FC on Wednesday evening at St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende, while the Purple have now garnered five points from the three games they have played so far, and will play Onduparaka FC next in Arua.