Vipers slightly walked out of CAF Champions League.
Vipers SC’s journey in the CAF Champions League came to an end as they were unable to hold onto their substantial victory from Saturday.
Following a significant loss during their visit to Jwaneng Galaxy in Botswana, a slender 2-0 win posed a formidable challenge for the venoms to overcome.
Despite being two goals down before the match began on Saturday, Vipers entered the game with an aggressive pressing strategy, showcasing remarkable intensity and a deep passion for the sport. The performance of both wings was highly effective and coordinated.
Coming in the game, Louis Neiva selected his home side with Fabien Mutombola (GK), Ashraf Mandela, Isa Mubiru, Livingstone Mulondo, Murushid Jjuuko, Siraje Ssentamu, Bright Anukani, Abubaker Lawal, Milton Karisa, Yunus Ssentamu and Mohamed Salem Ekbad on front.
Visitor’s side lined up with Benson Kitso Mangolo, Chicco Molefe, Nqobizitha Masuku, Dynamo Carlos Fredericks, Katwelo Mpolokanga, Thabang Vicent Sesinyi, Omaatla Kabatho, Thabo Leinanyane, Phoko Goitseone, and Fortunate Thulare.
Vipers dominated ball possession, compiling all pressure from their attacking front runners led by Milton Karisa (Captain), Yunus Ssentamu from the inverted left wing, Salem Mohamed Ekbad false nine front-runner, followed by Abubaker Lawal and Bright Anukani in the middle.
The visitors continued pressing wide, threatening and thus the visitors couldn’t resist the pressure in the 31st minute. Yunus Ssentamu replying a sweet pass from his left back Isa Mubiru thus opened up the score line before the break.
Jwaneng Galaxy’s defense displayed an unwavering resolve after conceding the first goal, retaining their tactical structure and attentiveness. Demonstrating consistency in their approach, Yunus Ssentamu embarked on a skillful run, capitalizing on a precise delivery from Milton Karisa. With remarkable finesse, Ssentamu elegantly navigated through the defense and expertly found the net, securing an impressive goal during the extra minutes of the first half (45+2).
Going for a break, the game was at the level (2-2) on average. Visitors couldn’t believe this. They furthermore made substitutions in the second-half, Gilbert Baruti and Mpho Kgomo changed the play while the venoms maintained discipline from the back.
Maintaining possession under pressure came at a cost for the hosts; they needed to take advantage of their lead by securing a third goal before the situation worsened.
Miss-calculation, and unreliable substitutes by Louis Neiva, bringing out Murushid Jjuuko from the back, left the back hanging. His successor Nzau Miguel Lutumba couldn’t hold and definitely not good enough in aerial balls thus costed the team.
Another slight mistake was pulling out Salem Mohamed Ekbad and Abubaker Lawal, bringing in slow players, Karim Abdul Watambala and Martin Kizza who couldn’t cover up spaces whenever they lost possession just like Lawal did.
In the 86th, a slight foul by Isa Mubiru at the edge of the box on vipers goal. This again was due to miss calculation of the ball the Nzau Miguel.
Gilbert Baruti shirt ’10’ made a sweet strike squeezing the ball near the goal post in the 87th minute near the closure of the second half. This was the last nail in the coffin for the hosts.
Certainly, this last-minute goal shattered any remaining aspirations for Vipers to secure a spot in the CAF Champions League, as Jwaneng Galaxy emerged victorious with a 3-2 aggregate score line.
It was a heavy disappointment for the venoms and to Lawrence Mulindwa team’s director having invested a lot in the team.
Questions rose up whether Coach Louis Neiva will still be Vipers head coach for the coming league campaign.