The last three champions of the Uganda Cup will not face each other in the quarterfinals of the competition following Thursday’s draw held at FUFA offices in Mengo.
Defending champions KCCA FC face Kitara FC while the 2016 champions, Vipers SC will face Kansai Plascon. The 2015 champions and now current Uganda Premier League leaders SC Villa will face Kampala Junior Team (KJT), whereas relegation threatened Proline FC will travel to Masaka to tussle it out with Synergy in what is expected to be a close contest.
With the clashes set to be played between April 22 and 29, for Vipers, Villa and KCCA, the stakes are really high, as their quest for a league and cup double continues. SC Villa coach Wasswa Bbosa told The Observer that at this juncture, every game they play is a cup final, because they want to win everything on offer.
It was in 2002, that Villa last won a league and cup double. And nothing would fulfill the Jogoos fans more than getting to enjoy that thrill of being a Ssalongo again, 16 years later.
Bbosa added that it is as a result of that drought, that Villa is so hungry, not only for the league title, but the Uganda Cup too. In the three previous rounds, Villa has won all, scoring five goals without reply. This tenacity in defence goes a long way to prove their resolve and determination to go all the way, at least team captain Bernard Muwanga said recently.
Having gone last season trophyless, despite being the main challengers to KCCA, who scooped both domestic titles, Vipers have their sights on winning the double too for the first time in their history.
Coach Miguel Duarte Da Costa remains on the spot too with an undying ambition to win his first title in Ugandan football since he arrived in March 2017.
The second half of the season has largely been good for Vipers in the UPL, winning five of their seven games. In the first round, Vipers won only five of 15 UPL matches. Against that, the 2015 league champions appear to be in good stead to beat Kansai Plascons when they meet, to keep their dreams of a double alive.
KCCA, who carry the crown of being winners of the double last year, will not give it up so easily. Their manager Mike Mutebi said: “We need to maintain our standards, and keep showing that we are the best team in the country. To do that, we have to win our games.”
Unlike KCCA’s main challengers, Vipers and SC Villa, they have not had a chance to play at home any of the previous opponents of the three rounds in the Uganda Cup.
They had to travel to Mbarara for their round of 64 clash, Kabanyolo for their round of 32 game with Simba SC and to Kavumba, where they knocked out Soana FC in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how much focus Proline FC will put to their game against Synergy. Considering that they are stuck in the relegation zone of the UPL, the hunger to make the Uganda Cup semi-finals may not be as big, as ensuring that they remain in the top-flight instead.
But seeing how they battled past UPDF FC 4-2 on spot-kicks in the previous round, moreover away from home in Bombo, Proline appear to be a team, who even in the risk of going down, would love to win the Uganda Cup. It would be unprecedented.