KCCA’s mini-resurgence in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) started on a regrettable note. A day to the February 17 clash with Express, the club technical team reportedly traded blows over the best midfield outfit that could tame a then rampant Red Eagles side.
Italian Loro Mazengo or Ashraf Mugume in deep lying midfield, the debate went. Those in Mugume’s favour prevailed and the budding midfielder enforcer put up a Man-of-Match performance in the 1-1 draw at Wankulukuku.
Mugume, Bright Anukani and now the fully fit Gift Ali have been integral as fourth-placed KCCA, on 26 points, posted vital wins over Myda (5-0), Kitara (4-0), UPDF (6-1), Kyetume (1-0) with the 1-1 draw with Wakiso Giants the only blemish since then.
With possession likely to have a huge bearing on who wins this afternoon’s Lugogo battle between KCCA and Police, the showdown between the aforesaid trio and Cops’ Tonny Mawejje and Yusuf Ssozi will be crucial. In a similar fixture in November 2019, both sides played out something of a thriller that KCCA won 3-2 while the reverse clash had also served a 6-3 Kasasiro Boys’ triumph.
Mugume, who had a loan spell at Police from Vipers, has been in awe inspiring form and has earned boss Mike Mutebi’s rare praise lately.
“Mugume is not a holding midfielder that why he has combined well with Gift Ali who we use as our schemer. They organise us well going forward and defensively. I’m happy he is performing well and scoring goals now. He has managed to break into the team with the stiff competition,” Mutebi said of KCCA’s midfield axis that threatens to tear apart Police, fifth on 24 points today at the MTN Philip Omondi Stadium-Lugogo.
Against Express, KCCA’s midfield was extremely exposed, outplayed and outpassed, a theme Police, with Mutebi’s protégé Abdallah Mubiru can repeat if his technically gifted midfielders like Mawejje live to the billing. To sit fifth, Johnson Odong, the Cops’ unsung hero, has benefitted from the little attention to dictate play, pick passes unchallenged from the advanced midfield positions and score goals. The forward has five goals thus far and should be a thorn in KCCA’s flesh. Victory will temporarily lift KCCA past third placed Express before they play tomorrow.