Masiko celebrates his goal with teammates (Vipers media photo)
By: Sinan Rajub Senoga
Second half substitutes Steven Mukwala and Tom Masiko struck two late goals as Vipers came from a goal behind to earn a hard fought 3-2 victory over a resilient Bright Stars side at Kitende.
The victory was however marred by controversial refereeing decisions by Muzamir Tulu that left Bright Stars cry foul.
Vipers had taken the lead in the 12th minute through a thunderbolt strike from Brian Nkuubi just outside the box.
10 minutes later, Bright Stars levelled matters courtesy of a close range effort from John Opejo Kokas who tapped in a quality cross from Jungu Methodius.
Nelson Senkatuka netted Bright Stars’ second of the day from a spot kick sending James Alitho the wrong after Geoffrey Wasswa had brought him down inside the box 3 minutes to the half time break.
The better part of second saw a defensively organized Bright Stars put up resilience to hold on to their lead.
Chasing the game, Vipers coach Miguel Da Costa threw on Steven Mukwala for Congolese attacker Mbayi Clovis Mousa in the 58th minute. Dan Birikwalira came on for Erisa Sekisambu to push Duncan Seninde in a more advanced and offensive position.
Bright Stars were projected to earn their first away win of the season not until the last 10 minutes when hell broke loose.
Steven Mukwala scored the equaliser with a header from within 10 yards to beat Benson Wagima from a free kick just outside the box in the 81st minute.
Da Costa immediately made his last substitution bringing on Tom Masiko for right back Nicholas Wadada in pursuit for the winner.
The change paid off timely in the 89th minute as Tom Masiko pounced a stunner from outside the box to secure the three points for Vipers.
The hard earned victory keeps Vipers in contention for the championship and they are only a point behind leaders SC Villa. Bright stars remain 11th with 26 points.
Vipers’ next fixture will be a tricky visit to Jinja as they entertain BUL FC, Bright stars will host Soana at Mwererwe on the 11th of April.