By: Sinan Rajub Senoga
Gafford Ladies defied odds by earning a hard fought 1-0 away victory over 3-time champions Kawempe Muslim at the Valley as the FUFA Women Elite League regular season concluded.
The slim victory did not only break Kawempe’s four season home unbeaten record but also ensured Gafford Ladies finish 2nd in the Victoria Group to storm the playoffs at the expense of 3rd placed Ajax Queens.
Gafford Ladies’ diminutive striker Monica Namwase did the all important job when she capitalized on a lapse in the Kawempe defense to net the winner in the first half of the game.
The Kanyanya side is the only club to have inflicted defeat on the indomitable Kawempe Muslim since the inauguration of the FUFA Women Elite League in 2015. This was the second time they defeated Kawempe in the 4 seasons played.
Ayub Khalifa the Kawempe coach accounted for his side’s second defeat in four years
“It’s unfortunate we lost the game. Our priority wasn’t in accumulating points but rather preserving the fact that we have only lost one game in the previous 3 years. Its unfortunate we lost another one, more so at our home. But we shall bounce back stronger.”
“I think our problem today was psychological since many of our players were preparing to go for the nationals, they have been off for days. Even our last training was not much attended to by many.”
His counterpart Steven Wabwire, the Gafford Ladies tactician attributed the massive result to hard work by his charges. He said
” We have been taking game by game. Our hard work has mainly been in training, today we knew what we were going to face – a very strong side which hasn’t lost a game in four years. We just kept on with our script, we got the goal and had to defend it.”
Ajax Queens beat lowly side Western United 3-0 at Buddo courtesy of goals from Annet Namwenge (who scored a brace) and Phiona Nabbumba. Despite the win, Ajax Queens finished 3rd with 21 points, 2 behind 2nd placed Gafford Ladies.
Elsewhere, Hasifa Nassuna’s exquisite strike in the first half against Isra Soccer Academy was not enough for last year’s runners up UCU Lady Cardinals to book a berth in this season’s play offs.
The star studded cardinals were earmarked as this year’s favorites after their shrewd recruitment in the pre-season but fell short when their close rivals Kampala Queens also won their respective game at Villa Park.
Kampala Queens ensured the second place after beating Uganda Martyrs 3-0 to qualify for the Fufa Women Elite League play offs for the first time ever.
A brace from second half substitute Winnie Babirye and an opening goal from Zaina Namuleme handed the Farida Bulega coached side a comprehensive victory to finish 2 points ahead of UCU Lady Cardinals.
Veteran Annet Nakimbugwe was also given matching orders for Kampala Queens following a harsh foul in the later stages of the game.
Olila Women finished top of the Elizabeth group with 30 points after edging She MAK 2-1 at Makerere grounds thanks to goals from Alupo Norah and Siporosa Amoding. Twesigye Jemima scored the only goal for the Makerere female outfit.
At Wankulukuku, Rines SS FC edged Muteesa 1 Royal University by one goal to nil thanks to Halima Nanteza’s lone strike.
Kawempe Muslim will face Kampala Queens, a side they ejected from the FUFA Women Cup by a 2-1 win thanks to a Juliet Nalukenge brace close to 2 weeks ago. The other semi final play off will see Olila Women locking horns with Gafford Ladies.
UCU Lady Cardinals’ striking duo Maureen Kinavudori and Hasifa Nassuna lead the goal scorers’ chat with 10 goals each.
Kawempe Muslim 0-1 Gafford Ladies
Muteesa 1 Royal 0-1 Rines SS FC
Ajax Queens 3-0 Western United
Kampala Queens 3-0 Uganda Martyrs
Isra SA 0-1 UCU Lady Cardinals
She Mak 1-2 Olila Women