KCCA will look at the table standings with five matches to go and nod in affirmative that this looks more like it.
The 2018/19 StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) title was only going to be significantly decided if the home side had won at Lugogo last evening.
But for neutrals, it would have added spark to the race had the visitors protected Brian Nkuubi’s 29th minute goal, for it would have brought Vipers to within a point of KCCA.
But with Allan Okello’s nimble pass to meet a determined, yet calm Suleiman Mike Mutyaba for a 49th minute leveler, the situation at the top remains one of calm.
The 1-1 draw at a parked StarTimes Stadium keeps manager Mike Mutebi’s charges on top with 53 points, still four ahead of reigning champions Vipers.
It was a game that indeed depicted these as the two best sides in the country, with both poking each other and trading heavyweight blows.
It is the visitors, however, who drew first blood; KCCA old boy Tom Masiko’s well weighted set-piece creating pandemonium in the home side’s defence.
Timothy Awany jumped for the airborne ball but missed it, with official Man of the Match Nicholas Kasozi – who was rather assured in the middle of the park – joining the the ensuing scramble on the ground.
But Nkuubi cleverly drifted away – with the ball – his extra step creating space for him to thump it in past a desperate Magambo challenge and Charles Lukwago in KCCA goal on 29 minutes.
Knowing this result would blow the title race wide open again, the hosts returned from the break with resolve and we’re level four minutes after resumption. Youngster Okello received the ball from the right, taking one step forward before glancing over to see an inbound Mutyaba.
The lanky forward intelligently glided it through three Vipers defenders leaving Vipers goalkeeper Ochan at Mutyaba’s mercy. The in-form former Vipers player, Mutyaba, then incisively beat the visitor’s goalkeeper to his low right on 49 minutes for his 10th goal of the campaign.
Both teams continued exchanging blows thereafter, Muzamir Mutyaba missing a free header for KCCA after pulling away from two defenders, Nkuubi lobbing over Charles Lukwago and Yayo Lutimba trying from long range.
KCCA will particularly feel hard-done after they levelled, with Okello and Muzamiru Mutyaba all slicing and heading their efforts wide with only goalkeeper to beat.
Substitute Patrick Kaddu thought he had won it for KCCA but saw his header crush off the woodwork late on.
“It was a good advertisement for the league,,” said KCCA manager Mutebi.
“They showed maybe they wanted it more at the start and put us under pressure.
“It is now a 70% chance. We have a very difficult game coming up away to Paidha so make no mistake.”
Michael Nam Ouma, the vipers coach, accepted the point.
“Of course going back with one point is a plus. We also played away from home and playing against a team that is number one.”
The race remains alive but KCCA are definitely in charge.
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