StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Final day results
SC Villa 0 -1 URA
Vipers SC 5- 0 Busoga United
KCCA 5 – 0 Solito Bright Stars
UPDF 1 – 4 Onduparaka
Blacks Power 3 – 1 Express
Maroons 0 – 0 BUL
Arua Hill 1 – 0 Wakiso Giants
The final day of the 2022/23 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season promised turns and twists on Saturday.
It did not disappoint as first ended in third, second in first and 11 goals scored in three title determining matches to cap a fitting finale.
There was also excitement as a helicopter landed at St Mary’s Stadium to deliver the trophy, which could have been at any of the three venues on the day, including Lugogo and Wankulukuku, given the final day permutations.
But it is Kitende that proved the destination as Villa, who came into the final match needing only to beat URA to become champions, lost 1-0 at home to the Tax Collectors.
In the end, Vipers pounded Busoga United 5-0 to finish top and champions.
Vipers and KCCA, who also thrashed Soltilo Bright Stars by the same scoreline, finished level on 53 points but the Venoms superior goal difference prevailed.
This was the first ever Vipers were successfully defending the league title – this being their sixth gong.
At a packed Wankulukuku, it is Najib Fesali’s 61st minute goal for URA that quashed Villa’s dreams of ending their 19-year-old wait for a league title to add to their record 16.
The Jogoos then fell from first to third, where they ended on 52 points, just one behind Vipers and KCCA.
Villa could have been champions with a match to spare had it not been for the two points and goals deducted late last year due to violence from a section of their fans.
Interestingly, Villa’s dream was ended coach Sam Timbe, the same man who was in charge of the last Villa side to win the league in 2004.
At St Mary’s, Vipers went ahead in the 14th minute through striker Abubaker Lawal.
Yunus Sentamu made it 2-0 with a superb half volley on 23 minutes before Lawal completed his brace nine minutes after halftime.
Martin Kizza and Pilsner Man of the Match Bright Anukani scored two more to round off the lap of honour to the title.
At Lugogo, Uganda Cranes youngster Rogers Mato ran the show, the forward scoring four goals in the thumping of Bright Stars.
Mato’s first came in the 48th minute, before adding others in the 61st, 88th and 94th minutes.
His fourth was from the penalty spot. Charles Lwanga scored one in between.
Up north, Daniel Otim, Dickens Okwi and Robert Eseru scored for relegated Blacks Power in the 3-1 win over Express.
Allan Kayiwa scored Express’ consolation to finish the season top scorer with 13 goals, one more than Villa’s Charles Bbaale.
In West Nile, Innocent Media netted the only goal of the match as Arua Hill beat Wakiso Giants.
Relegated Onduparaka also thrashed UPDF 4-1 at the soldiers’ own Bombo backyard.
Gasper Adriko, Rogers Okumu, Dominic
Abongi and Boy Fazilino scored for the visitors while Jibril Nsimbe got UPDF’s consolation.
*Credit: UPL media.