Express, KCCA in cup action
- Written by John Vianney Nsimbe
Both Express FC and KCCA FC hold a joint record of the most Stanbic Uganda Cup trophies at 10. It is a record that should be intact at least for another year, following SC Villa’s elimination at the round-of-32 by Bul FC almost a week ago.
The Jogoos are on nine trophies. Express would care less about Villa’s Uganda Cup misfortune, as the reverse is true when it comes to the Uganda Premier League. While Villa are second in the league, four points behind table leaders KCCA, Express are eleventh in the 15-team league, six points above the relegation zone.
Therefore, to Express coach James Odoch, his side has got to make up for their shortcomings in the league by building a run
in the Uganda Cup. Odoch said: “We have gone nine successive league games without a win. Yet, in the Uganda Cup, we have gone through two rounds, winning outright. To win the Uganda Cup, we just have to show consistency in about five more games.”
Already, Express has beaten Kajjansi United 2-1 in the round of 64, before dumping out Lugazi United 1-0 in the round of 32. And as they await Paidha Black Angels at Wankulukuku this afternoon, Express are upbeat. Odoch warns against complacency especially because Paidha were losing finalists in 2017. It is against that background, that Odoch expects the West Nile team to be fired up.
But more importantly, Odoch, whose only success at Express as a player was the Uganda Cup in 1996 and 1997, is also driven by the fact that success this time, would mark his maiden silverware as a head coach. And considering how much they have struggled this season in the league, a cup would be a huge achievement for their fans, who have had little to smile about since the 2021 league triumph.
On the other hand, KCCA have also had little to celebrate since winning the 2019 league title under former coach Mike Mutebi. KCCA last won the Uganda Cup in 2018, when a Julius Poloto header vanquished Vipers SC 1-0 in the final played in Bukedea. It was a different KCCA side then, one that current coach Morley Byekwaso is intent on restoring.
There is probably no coach in world football that is as desperate as Byekwaso to land silverware at KCCA in his second full season. Not only will it silence the doubters, but it will also help restore confidence in his side, who have come short since he took over in March 2021.
KCCA host Mbarara City FC in Lugogo on Friday, March 17 buoyed by the fact that they are top of the league, and are chasing a league and cup double. But seeing how tough Mbarara have been in the Fufa Big League this season, their meeting is expected to be full of sparks.
Wednesday, March 15@4pm:
Express FC v Paidha Black Angels
Onduparaka v Bul
Friday, March 17@4pm:
KCCA FC v Mbarara City
Sunday, March 19 @4pm:
Calvary v Kitara
Monday, March 20@4pm:
Police FC v Ndejje University