URA Football Club were made to settle for a point after a 72nd-minute equalizer saw the tax collectors draw 1-1 with Express in Friday evening’s StarTimes Uganda Premier league clash.
Patrick Mbowa’s effort in the 29th minute had given Sam Timbe’s side a deserved lead at the Betway Muteesa II Stadium, but the hosts would take a share of the spoils after Eric Kambale levelled for the hosts with 18 minutes of normal time to play.
Despite the result, there was one positive for the tax collectors to take from the hard-fought contest, as they have avoided defeat from the Red Eagles, unlike last season where they lost both fixtures.
In the scorching sun at Wankuluku, URA had a golden opportunity to take the lead inside the opening three minutes, but Steven Mukwala couldn’t quite connect properly with Shafik Kagimu’s low pass along the ground hence firing over the bar.
The tax collectors’ pair attempted to link up again minutes later, only for a smart sliding clearance from the hosts’ defence that stopped Kagimu.
The tax collectors’ hearts nearly popped out as the hosts came close to scoring from a corner kick.
Cromwel Rwothomio was then involved, fizzing an effort along the drenched turf that took a strong hand from Express keeper Otim to keep out for a corner kick.
URA’s push for an opener throughout the evening, finally got its goal on 29 minutes The corner from Saidi Kyeyune was the source of it – despite the Express custodian initially having a touch on the ball, Mbowa’s volleyed effort was helped over the line by a deflection off Red Eagles defenders and URA’s persistence was finally rewarded and that was the story of the first half.
It was nearly the perfect start to the second period for Express, as the URA defence was called into action most of the time to deny the hosts.
The home side, who had not lost in their last five games in the league prior to the match, were forcing URA to work hard for any kind of success in front of goal. This persistence from the hosts had Ivan Sserubiri booked in the 51st minute.
URA had to be alert to preserve the newly established advantage in the game, as the hosts enjoyed their best spell of the game which saw them hitting the upright. This sent a warning to the tax collectors.
With pressure piling up for URA, Sam Timbe made his first change of the game. Dada Ibrahim who had scored the winner in the tax collectors’ previous game against Onduparaka replaced Viane Ssekajugo.
The hosts kept knocking at the tax collector’s door and finally had access in the 72nd-minute with Eric Kambale making no mistake from close range to level the score.
Two minutes after the equalizer, Sam Timbe introduced defender Najb Fesali in place of skipper Shafik Kagimu. This move was now to help salvage a point at a tough place to visit.
Both teams created chances but nothing much yielded thereafter throughout the following minutes of the game.
At the 90th minute, Sserubiri Ivan made way for Brian Nkuubi and that seemed like the last change to ensure a 1-1 encounter at the final whistle.