SOCCER: USL Title Race Hots Up
A glance at the Bell Super League table and you realise the title is slowly drifting to its most likely destination, just like the relegation monster is sniffing tantalizingly at the aroma from its most likely victims.
While Utoda and Fire Masters have made the relegation puzzle less complex, there is still so match to play for amongst the top four, the mid-table, and those clamouring to finish in the top ten.
Leaders URA, third-placed Proline and fourth, Express, are all in action on Friday before second-placed Bunnamwaya get into action on Sunday in one of the re-fixed games.
All the first three sides have four games lest to end the campaign while Express have six to make their title credentials count. Let’s do a rundown of the weekend action.
Bell Super League, Friday, May 25
Proline vs Bidco, Namboole, 4pm, Live on SS9E
This is the first match of SS9E double header before Express against Maroons takes centre stage later at 6pm.
Proline come into this one having lost their five-match winning streak in the goalless draw at Victors on Tuesday. They face a Bidco side wary of the relegation monster, so Proline coach Abdallah Mubiru will know what to expect.
After a series of mixed results, Bidco asked coach Richard Makumbi to step aside for his assistant Arthur Kyesimire, who debuted with a 1-1 draw with Police on Tuesday.
Proline, who will count on their leading scorer with nine goals, William Wadri, are third in the standings on 46 points, seven behind leaders URA.
Bidco, who must ensure their survival in their remaining three games, stand two places off relegation in 12th with 31 points.
Express v Maroons, Namboole, 6pm, Live on SS9E
Smarting from a 2-0 humbling at the hands of archrivals KCC in their last outing, Express must beat Maroons to retain any hopes of challenging URA for the title.
The Red Eagles lacked in conviction as they were run over by Morley Byekwaso’s boys last week.
That defeat has them trailing leaders and champions, URA, who are on 53 points, by nine points, but with two games in hand.
Sam Ssimbwa’s Wankulukuku-based side, however, face another side not enjoying their best of forms, Maroons.
The prisons side completed a double loss to struggling Hoim-Busia on Tuesday and coach Asaph Mwebaze must find a solution to a fast running down engine.
A decent first round of the season has seen Maroons capitulate in the second part, their 11th placing with 33 points in the log telling the tale.
Masaka vs Hoima-Busia, Masaka, 4pm
Kefa Kisala’s Masaka thought they had ended the rot that had seen them lose four successive league games when they beat Bidco last week.
But that feeling was ruthlessly dissolved by a rampant Bunnamwaya as Edward Golola’s outfit thrashed them 3-0 on Tuesday.
Now Masaka welcome a Hoima-Busia side in deadly mode as they battle relegation.
They beat Maroons 2-1 as Masaka were losing in Buikwe to Bunnamwaya. Kisala will call on his boys to use home advantage to their best lest Hoima pin them down. Masaka’s recent crumble has seen them drop to ninth on 38 points with two games to go.
Hoima are in a dire situation, now third from bottom on 21 points, but with six games to go having been readmitted into the league late.
URA vs Police, Lugazi, 4pm
The tax collectors, URA, have rediscovered the groove just in time, winning their previous two to open up a six-point gap at the summit on 53 points.
But they face a Sam Timbe inspired Police, who have dropped just two points from a possible 12 since the Brazilian-trained coach joined the cops two months ago. URA know if they win this one, they will have given themselves a big chance to lift their fifth title in seven years.
They come into this having dismissed SC Villa 3-1 at the same venue on Tuesday and Timbe knows what awaits him and his team.
Police will survive if they win their remaining five games even if Hoima-Busia win their six, too. The cops are fourth from bottom on 28 points.
Sunday, May 27
Bunnamwaya vs Hoima-Busia, Buikwe, 3pm
The 2010 champions, Bunnamwaya, are aware that any stumble from now on will have them wait for next season to lift a title.
But they will have rested enough as they meet a Hoima-Busia side expected to be fatigued as they will have rested just for a day after their Friday trip to Masaka.
Bunnamwaya are in the right mood having side-stepped Masaka 3-0 on Tuesday but will expect a battle from a side desperate for points as they stare at relegation.
Victors vs Express, Kakindu, Jinja, 3pm
This is the match that never took off at Kakindu last week after referees embarrassingly failed to show up.
Victors, too, will have rested enough for this as they are not in action on Friday, their last game being the goalless draw with Proline.
Kakindu is one trip big league sides dread taking, with most that go there managing a draw at most.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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