Arua Hill SC head coach Hussein Mbalangu has confessed he is neither surprised nor shocked with his side’s exit from Uganda Cup after suffering a 1-0 defeat to UPDF FC at Bombo Military Ground on Sunday.
Arua Hill came for the second leg of the Uganda Cup round of 32 fixture with a first leg 3-2 win. But the away goal advantage for Kefa Kisala’s boys worked well in the reverse fixture after managing 1-0 win.
The Leopards conceded an early goal in the 4th minute after Alex Kitata struck low and home following a corner delivered by Hassan Hussein Zinda.
Mbalangu’s boys tried but failed to level matters even after chances showed up through Baden and Agau in the first half.
“We’ve been eliminated but the boys played very well,” Hussein Mbalangu told club media.
“We made a mistake in the first minute, that’s where they scored us, we kept on pushing until the last whistle and the game ended 1-0.
“But I’m not surprised and not shocked because our target is to qualify so the elimination from the cup will give us a breathe, we shall be focusing on one target which is to get promotion.
Despite the defeat, Arua Hill didn’t go down without character and intent as they huffed and puffed in search of goal even before the introduction of Emmanuel Mutebi and Rashid Kawawa for Rashid Agau and Baden Mujahid in the second half.
The two fresh legs added more effort as they brought change in form of pace to the game in their respective capacity with Kawawa launching the swings to the box while mounting pressure meanwhile Mutebi with his quick sleek movement in the box created a foul that could have earned Arua Hill a penalty if not for the centre referee’s indifferent view.
“The young boys came to add on pace like they did in the first leg,” Mbalangu revealed his observation on the contribution of the duo as he explained his reasons of substituting them in.
“I wanted to introduce the player who did well in the first leg so that it could be their trial match for Mbale clash and they didn’t disappoint me.
“They created some controversial foul but as you know we’re away and we blame no one but they played well.” He continued.
The result although meant Arua Hill SC and UPDF equaled in aggregate, the hosts progress to last 16 due to away goal rule.
Arua Hill will now turn their focus to the next Big League fixture against Mbale Heroes on 15/04/2021 at the Mbale Stadium.
Teams That Have Progressed To Round of 16 of Uganda Cup:
*Kigezi Homeboyz vs Kitara United (Not Played)