Football

NEC beat Kyetume to keep promotion hopes alive

 

NEC FC required a stoppage time goal to edge Kyetume FC 2-1 in drama laden encounter at the Coffee Grounds in Bugolobi.

Coming into the penultimate round, NEC had nothing to settle for but victory and had to navigate the fixture minus their inspirational skipper Marvin Kavuma who is injured as well their head coach Michael Skills Lukyamuzi who is suspended.

With the duo out of action, it was always going to be an uphill task for NEC and to make matters worse Kyetume took the lead in the 38th minute through a Gideon Odongo own goal.

A defensive miscommunication between Odongo and his goalkeeper Michael Okiria saw the defender brush the ball as a back pass but into his net with the keeper off his line.

NEC subsequently made a reactionary substitute as David Tony Kiberu came on for Julius Walugembe before the halftime whistle.

Despite the magnitude of the fixture, the Bugolobi based side shockingly started with a big chuck of their regular starters on the bench and expectedly toiled for a positive result.

Goalkeeper Jeans Brady Wokorach (who was at fault in their last defeat to Lugazi, Julius Kazibwe Magu, Shamir Kimwero, Richard Ajuna, Kizza Angelo and Kiberu all started at the bench.

Kiberu delivered the much sought equalizer in the 65th minute after relentlessly efforts of searching.

After constant rowdy calls from home fans, Kimwero, Magu and Ajuna were introduced by the stand-in coach Bastu Ssemuyaba in the final quarter of the game.

In the 85th minute, Kyetume were forced into an inevitable change after their only available goalkeeper Yakoub Kyomya couldn’t continue playing with a finger injury and an outfield player had to take up the gloves.

At first it was striker Baker Buyala who took up the gloves but later passed on the task to midfielder Julius Lule who became the goalkeeper in the final three plus eight additional minutes.

It should be noted that Kyetume’s first choice keeper Patrick Mubiru is serving a suspension imposed on him for indiscipline during the defeat to Kitara. Mutwalib Mugolofa their first choice goalkeeper at the start of the season moved on to Mbarara City.

Lule couldn’t help much to thwart the increasing NEC attacks and finally gave in when Oscar Sulaiman Ssesaazi struck from a melee following Ajuna’s corner kick in the final five of the added eight.

There was an altercation amongst Kyetume fans and at one moment Buyala and Simon Okwil nearly went into a fist fight.

The much needed win pushed the promotion to the wire as NEC remained third with 54 points while Police are fourth with 53.

With Kitara and Mbarara City already promoted to the UPL, it will either be Police or NEC to take up the final promotion slot.

NEC will visit Kataka in Mbale while Police will host Jinja North at Kavumba.

Results
• Kaaro Karungi 0-2 Mbarara City
• Jinja North 2-0 Calvary
• Adjumani TC 0-3 Kitara
• NEC FC 2-1 Kyetume FC
• Lugazi FC 1-1 Kataka FC
• Booma FC 0-1 Police
• Northern Gateway 0-2 Ndejje University
• Soroti City 2-0 Luweero United

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