Uganda Premier League: Mbarara Derby, more than just bragging rights.


Star Times Uganda Premier League

Wednesday 24th October 2018

Nyamityobora FC vs Mbarara City FC

Mutesa Two Stadium-Wankulukuku


Match Day four in the Star Times Uganda Premier League will provide the biggest game in the history of Western Uganda, Mbarara in particular, when the red carpet rolls for the first ever Mbarara derby in Uganda’s top flight football, as Nyamityobora FC hosts Mbarara City FC at Wankulukuku on Thursday.

This is the first Mbarara derby to be played between the two sides in Uganda’s top division but a third in their history, the last derby was in 2016 while both teams were in the FUFA Big League.

Mbarara City FC were victorious 4-1 on the day, thanks Brian Ahebwa who hit all the four goals for the Ankole Lions, the first round derby ended 0-0.

Since then, both sides have fought back from the depths of despair in recent years to earn a place in Uganda’s top tier and now face off in a spectacle celebrating the success of Western Uganda’s football.

Nyamityobora FC have been in existence since 1907 while Mbarara City FC are now eight years old, first coming on the scene as Citizens FC in 2010 then merging with Wakiso FC to form Mbarara City in 2016.

Nyamityobora FC feel they are the inventors of football in the region and should be respected, however, they will need to demand the respect on the pitch when the two teams clash on Thursday.

Patrick Gonahasa has a fantastic record against Mbarara City FC scoring two goals in two games against the Kavumba based side.

The former Maroons striker was the only player to net twice in a single game against Mbarara City FC in their debut season in Uganda’s top flight football.

Gonahasa is not the only threat for the Ankole Lions, young star Ibrahim Dada has impressed in the last two outings against Bright Stars and Vipers SC, while former Nakaseka International midfielder Derrick Kiggundu who came on as a second half substitute against Vipers is in contention for his first start and might be a threat.

Head Coach James Odoch will be hoping to use the derby to turn around Nyamityobora’s fortunes after slipping to the bottom of the League following defeat by Vipers SC.

The Banyakare are winless after a third straight loss last weekend and need to find solutions apparently, with two people running the ship now to prevent their worst in the last three seasons.

With no big star signings in the transfer window, the hosts will need to beat their neighbors to kick start their league campaign, ending the match on the winning side will mean everything to the team and fans.

Mbarara City FC will be looking for their third win on the bounce; the Ankole Lions have done brilliantly in their last two games picking up wins over Express FC and maroons FC.

The Ankole Lions are flying, they are the in-form side, Karim Ndugwa has been leading the line brilliantly, scoring in back to back games  for Mbarara City and is always ready to go and will definitely be starting this game.

The on loan striker has been valuable with his goals, his work rate and mobility on the pitch, if City are going to finish up high on the table he has to remain consistent and deliver the same in every game.

Livingstone Mbabazi’s men look motivated, confident and will be pumped up for their biggest game of the campaign.

Ivan Eyam away from home in particular is a very good player, he is capable of breaking the opponents down with his pace and gives a better balance to the team.

Ali Kimera has rediscovered his form under new manager Livingstone Mbabazi and kept his first clean sheet in the their 2-0 win over prisons’ side Maroons FC, he has been their linchpin and now looks  a top goal keeper and will be very difficult to beat.

The Ankole Lions are 6th in the Star Times Uganda Premier League table after three games, six points ahead of their nearest rivals, so they’ll be desperate not to lose their second away game in a row.

Mbabazi Factor

Mbarara City FC were, just four months ago, were fighting relegation in the Uganda Premier League, Today, they are managed by one of the biggest names in Uganda’s football over the past twenty plus years, as a player and coach and have solidified themselves as a team capable of finishing in the top five teams.

Mbabazi has been a great coach ever since he arrived; he has been winning games, getting the players to believe and has built confidence, getting the players cautioned to win games and has transferred that from preseason games to the league.

He has brought solidity, calmness and confidence to players like Mukundane Hilary, Jasper Ahebwa and Zaidi Byekwaso, the defenders have had a great improvement from last season.

The former URA and Ondupraka FC tactician also brought a long players he has worked with before and has looked sure in every aspect of his tactics.

With the quick and slick type of football exhibited in the last two outings, his side looks unstoppable, Mbarara City fans will be thinking the derby has come at the very right moment.

Current Form

Nyamityobora FC:  LLL

Mbarara City FC: LWW

Team News

With first choice goal keeper Franco Olinga still out, Jomi Hilary is expected to keep his place in goal, Ivan Mbowa is back and played for an hour in the 1-0 defeat to champions Vipers SC, he is expected to feature from the start for his home debut.

James Odoch has a full squad to choose from with all players capable of taking the game to the Ankole Lions

Mbarara City FC will welcome back their captain and center back Asuman Halishe who is available after recovering from malaria.

He is their captain and organizer who could be required for the derby but tactician Livingstone Mbabazi should have no problem sticking with the defense that has won the last two games.

Match Facts.

Nyamityobora FC have not lost back to back matches in the last two years.

They have lost only two of their last thirteen home games

Nyamityoora have kept just three clean sheets against Uganda Premier League sides, Kirinya Jinja SSS (1-0) in the Pilsner Super Eight, URA FC (2-0) and Vipers SC (1-0) in preseason friendly matches

The banyakare have scored thirty nine goals since the start of last season, conceding sixteen in the process

Mbarara City FC

The Ankole Lions could win three back to back league games for the first time in two years

Their 2-0 win against Maroons was the first time they scored two or more goals in two consecutive league games

It was also the first time they won back to back league games

Mbarara City have never won a League game away from home since earning promotion to Uganda’s top flight football

The Ankole Lions have already played two competitive games at Wankulukuku, winning one against Synergy in the FUFA Big League playoffs and losing against Express FC in the Uganda Premier League.

Karim Ndugwa is the first player to score in back to back league games since Emmanuel Obina, now at Wakiso Giants FC

Since the start of 2018, Mbarara City FC have kept four clean sheets, managing only one away from home, a 0-0 draw against Police FC in February.

City have scored five goals in their opening three league games, last season it took them eight games to reach the same number

Zaidi Byekwaso will be lining up against his former side for the first time since switching to the Ankole Lions.


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