Stanbic Uganda Cup
Proline vs Bright Stars, Masaka
Fee: Shs5000, Shs20000
One team is looking to complete an unprecedented domestic double, bolstering its status in Ugandan soccer. The other is trying to capture a major trophy for the first time. For either Proline or Bright Stars, this Stanbic Uganda Cup final will come to represent a landmark moment in their respective clubs’ history and many can’t see this Saturday’s match at the Masaka recreational grounds going one way.
Both the newly promoted Proline and premier league side Bright Stars are chasing their first ever Stanbic Uganda Cup title having made way to their maiden final through similar style. Proline ejected newly promoted Kyetume FC in penalties at semi finals whilst Bright Stars dumped joint record 10-time winners Express FC still after penalties.
Whereas the Fred Kajoba’s side seeks its season and first ever competitive title, Proline earned beat Wakiso Giants 1-0 in the final to clinch this season’s FUFA Big league crown as their first ever major title, thanks to Bright Anukani goal.
Bright Stars are buoyed by the availability of skipper and club lead scorer Nelson Senkatuka while Proline are also boosted by the availability of defender Mustafah Mujuzi and striker Anukani. The trio was earlier scheduled to travel with the Cranes team to the 2019 Cosafa championship (that kicks off this weekend in Durban, South Africa) before the team’s departure was delayed till Wednesday next week.
“It has been an exciting journey for us. We have no pressure at all but it will be historical to win the Uganda Cup trophy. We are going play the way we have always played and fans should expect an entertaining but offensive game,” noted Proline coach Shafik Bisaso.
For Fred Kajoba, Proline have their best season ever and can’t be underrated. “We have no pressure and this title comes as a bonus for our season target. However, I know what to do at this level (final) and Proline should come knowing,” noted the Bright Stars’ tactician, who doubles as the Ugandan Cranes goal keepers coach.
Kajoba, as a coach, has previously played two Uganda Cup finals with Simba losing to Victors in 2010 before returning to lift the title in 2011 while Bisaso has never won the title either as a player or coach.
Anukani, the 2018/19 season FUFA Big league Most valuable player (MVP), top scorer Ivan Bogere and skipper Nordin Bunjo will inspire Proline whilst Bright Stars rely on goalkeeper Hamza Muwonge, who has put heroic performances in the tournament and skipper Nelson Senkatuka, who was the second top scorer in the concluded StarTimes Uganda premier league with 16 goals, 3 behind Police FC’s Juma Balinya. Proline finished atop of Rwenzori group to earn automatic promotion and also won the FUFA Big league title. Bright Stars finished 8th on the 16-team premier league table but no lower division (Big league) side has ever won the Uganda Cup.
Proline ejected Kyetume during a two-legged semifinal. Earlier, they had dumped last season 2018 runners up Vipers SC in the quarterfinals. Proline also saw off West Nile giants Onduparaka at the Round of 16 and Nyamityobora at the Round of 32 after they had beaten light SS at the Round of 64.
Bright Stars meanwhile, eliminated joint 10-time record cup winners Express FC at the semifinal following a toiled 1-0 away to Nebbi Central at the quarter finals. At the round of 16, the Mwererwe side beat former champions URA after they had eliminated Bumate United in penalties and Kazo Excel at the Round of 32 and 64 respectively.
The winner of the Stanbic bank-sponsored tournament has Shs40m cash prize at stake on top representing the country in the CAF Confederations Cup next season while the runners up are assured of Shs20m. KCCA won the title last year after 1-0 win over Vipers SC in the final.