Champions open UFL with a win

BY MAXY ABENAITWE

The Cardinals have set off the University Football League (UFL) with a 2-0 goal win against the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). On February 12, UCU hosted the first UFL match this season between the defending champions and IUIU.

The end result of the game was revealed just 25 minutes into the game when UCU’s Geoffrey Gagganga scored the first goal under the assist of Rogers Kukundakwe. In the 20th minute of the second half, the soft  player Gagganga took on a second goal under the assist of Francis Jurua. 

During the course of the game, IUIU players, namely Ashraf Kakande and Ramathan Musema, earned themselves two yellow cards just 13 minutes to the end and a few seconds to the end of the game. The yellow cards were due to a rough game played in a bid to score goals and in defence of their goal post.

Initially, UCU’s Fred Atuhwera had also earned himself a yellow card.

The win was no surprise since it is on record that UCU has never lost a game to IUIU. The best IUIU can do against the Cardinals is a draw. However, one could tell that UCU was a stronger team. Perhaps the Islamic University could have lost due to the panic it has towards the Christian University. 

UFL Analyst, Ivan Olupot, thinks IUIU has learned absolutely nothing from the games they have played against UCU in the past. Much as the Cardinals are a better team, to Olupot the many times IUIU has met UCU should be enough to at least play a fairer game.

The Cardinals’ target this UFL season is to ensure they get maximum points during all games played at home. Considering the new format of the league, university teams are categorized under five groups and only one overall winner of the group automatically qualifies for the quarter-finals and the best three will be chosen to join the five initially qualified teams to make them eight groups. 

To Derrick Were, every game played in this new system is like a final. Every game is a  fate determinant in the season of the league.

UCU main coach Jimmy Kintu believes  the Cardinals did not play as expected. However, he believes the team will improve after maximum concentration on training.

Last year, the Cardinals emerged the 2019 UFL champions after winning a final game  by 2 goals on 1 against St Lawrence University. Right after claiming championship, the Cardinal promised to defend the trophy forever.