Tito Okello bagged a hat-trick on Sunday as Vipers SC recorded a 3-2 win away at BUL FC in a StarTimes Uganda premier league match played at the FUFA Technical centre, Njeru. The lanky forward put Vipers ahead inside 19 minutes, scoring from the spot after he was fouled by Denis Okot in the box.
He then netted the second after looping past goal keeper Sanon Munabi nine minutes later as the visitors carried a commanding 2-0 lead. The home side cut the deficit when Fred Gwoto pulled one back at half hour mark before Robert Mukongotya benefited from Vipers poor defending to levels matters into half time with his 5th of the campaign.
Okello completed his hat trick in the 73rd minute as the Venoms completed a double over the Jinja side –having won the reverse fixture 2-1 at the St Mary’s stadium, Kitende in one of BUL FC’s only two losses of first round. Tito becomes the fifth player to score thrice in a premier league game this season after Mike Mutyaba (KCCA), Musa Esenu (BUL FC), Jamal Malish and Julius Malingumu (Onduparaka). Prior to kickoff, there was a moment of silence observed in honour of Vipers SC Jnr goalie Kevin Ssemakalu who passed away on Saturday.
Vipers remain at the summit with 49 points, five better of second placed and reigning champions KCCA after 21 games. BUL, who remain winless in six second round league games are remain 6th with 30 points. They will look to make amends against Proline on February 19 after Vipers face KCCA FC at Kitende a day earlier. “Amazing feeling to kick off 2020 with first ever hat trick and victory for Vipers SC.
I am honored to be named the Man of the match for the first time since I joined Vipers SC. Thanks to the management of the club, my teammates and fans for always trusting me,” Tito noted after being named the Man of the match. Despite losing only twice in first round, BUL has lost five and drawn once in their six second round league fixtures.