UCU Cardinals beat Nkumba 2-0, qualify for Semis

By Joel Muhumuza

Spirits were high at the Uganda Christian University (UCU) today, October 06, as the Cardinals topped Nkumba 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals of the Pepsi University League. The defending champions beat the Entebbe-based varsity during a home game played at the UCU main football pitch.

An early goal by Isaac Ofoyirwoth set the pace for the Cardinals when he redirected a free kick that rolled off the goalkeeper. The fans wildly celebrated this early goal.

The Cardinals went ahead through David Mbalaga to net a penalty that sent the Nkumba goalkeeper stretching like rubber to no avail.

UCU Cardinals ‘boys’ mark an opponent. Courtesy photo

“The win really means a lot to me, to the team and the entire university, and I thank God for it,” said Jimmy Mwera, the head coach of the UCU Cardinals, who was beside himself with joy after such a remarkable victory.

Suleiman Mbosa, the Nkumba University team head coach, says that the results were not what they hoped for, but they will go back to the drawing board and come back much stronger.

Godfrey Gaganga, the team captain for the UCU, pointed out that the preparation for this game was crucial, and it all comes back to teamwork and prayer. “

Despite our best efforts and undying confidence, we could not afford to lose at home.”

The Cardinals scored a third goal which was cancelled out by the offside call. But this did not prevent them from booking their spot in the semis.

Cardinals take control of Group A in UFL

By Ian Asabo

The UCU Cardinals consolidated their place in Group A of the University Football League by defeating Kumi University, at the UCU Main playground on Saturday, May 21, 2022. 

A second-half peach of a goal by Mbalaga David was the difference as the Cardinals had difficulties in breaking down their opponents from Eastern Uganda. It has been difficult to separate the two sides over the course of back-to-back games with the other result ending in a highly entertaining and controversial 2-2 draw in Kumi.  

Chances were scarce during the first half as Kumi sat deep with low blocks stifling out the possession-based game of the Cardinals that heavily relies on the creation of spaces.  

It was much different in the second half, with the Cardinals continuing to shift the ball from side to side as the Kumi team started to wear out creating better chances for Cardinals.

A quick one-two on the right-hand side led to Aaron Ofoyirwoth breaking free and crossing the ball to Mbalaga, who bicycle-kicked it onto the crossbar- well over the line; hence crediting a goal for UCU.  

However, Cardinals midfielder, Ivan Mutebi foresees a tough season for his team, yet with determination. “We have to be a patient team because the majority of the teams we are going to face will always try and deny us space in which to play on top of our game,” he said. 

Head coach, Jimmy Mwera praised the team’s resilience after getting a win in a hard-contested game. “We were slow out of the blocks today, but the team showed the winning mentality and culture to be resilient and patience in order to wait for the right time,” he said. 

The Cardinals have moved to the top of the table with seven points, having played three victorious games previously, and they will look to win the group and advance to the next round. 

They will face the International University of East Africa next in the University Football League in Group A.