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Onduparaka FC snatch draw to deny Express FC winning start in UPL

15:40 GMT 05/12/2020
Express FC vs Onduparaka fc.
The Red Eagles failed to win their first match of the season after battling to draw in Arua

Express FC surrendered a 1-0 lead in the second half to settle for a 1-1 draw against Onduparaka FC in a Ugandan Premier League (UPL) match played in Arua on Saturday.

The Red Eagles came into the match seeking a positive start and they indeed took a deserved lead in the 11th minute when Frank Kalanda converted from the penalty spot.

However, despite holding onto the lead for most of the game, they were denied maximum points as Kabong Livingston levelled matters for the home team in the 68th minute, also from the penalty spot.

Express, who have vowed to fight for the title this season, started the game on a high note and saw Kalanda miss a clear chance in the fifth minute after rounding Onduparaka's backline but shot wide.

Kalanda was, however, provided with a chance to score when he was fouled inside the box by Joven Mahad, and he gladly took the honours to send the keeper the wrong way for the opening goal.

Despite taking the lead, Express still looked vulnerable at the back and it needed the experience of Uganda international defender Murushid Juuko to deny Onduparaka, as he raced to clear a ball that was rolling into an empty net in the 18th minute.

Godfrey Lwesibawa of Express was booked in the 20th minute as Onduparaka continued to search for a leveller which never came, with the teams heading into the half-time break with Express leading 1-0.

Earlier, Express suffered a set-back in the 26th minute with midfielder Ibrahim Kayiwa picking up a knock and was replaced by Charles Musiige allowing the Caterpillars to mount more attacks but Mathias Muwanga was the difference with good stops.

After the recess, Kabong continued his fine display and in the 68th minute all hell broke loose when Express skipper Enock Walusimbi was sent off for handling the ball deliberately in the box, and Kabong made no mistake sending Mathias Muwanga the opposite way for a 1-1 draw.

In matches played on Friday, URA FC and Mbarara City settled for a 1-1 draw at Kakyeka Stadium.

The result saw the two top-tier rivals share the points as the draw is the sixth between them in as many games. Steven Mukwala scored for URA while Jude Ssemugabi helped the Ankole Lions fight back to salvage the point.

Mbarara City could have opened the score in the 22nd minute but were denied by the post while the Tax Collectors broke the deadlock eight minutes later after they were saved by the woodwork.

Mukwala, who was making his URA debut, was assisted by Joachim Ojera to open his goal account. The scorer could have earned a double in the 48th minute but Muhammad Ssekaba denied him from the penalty spot.

In the 81st minute, Ssemugabi scored the equaliser as the two teams shared the points in their Premier League opener.

Meanwhile, Sports Club Villa and BUL FC recorded a high-scoring draw as they settled for a 2-2 draw. Emmanuel Wasswa and Nicholas Kabonge scored for the record UPL champions while Richard Wandyaka and Musa Esenu were the scorers for BUL in the 2-2 draw.

Meanwhile, Police FC and Wakiso Giants produced a 0-0 draw at the MTN Omondi Stadium.