By Alex Bossa
At the start of the new millennium, you would hardly see any masaba-land born supporting another team other than Mbale Heroes. But hey! These were the only big boys on the block tusselling it with the big boys in Ugandan football.
By the time the surgeons were relegated in 2007, the region had started getting new kids on the block. At first it was Mbale Garage then CRO, the scramble and struggle for Bugisu’s finest players had started and survival for the fittest was the order of the day.
Mbale Heroes was no longer the only bull in the crawl. Slowly the club began to be a shadow of its former glory as Kataka FC was born.
Nick named “Lufumbi”, Kataka has steadily climbed the ladder within Uganda’s football pyramid having narrowly missed out on a big league play off final date with the then Kiboga young loosing 7 : 6 on penalties in the semifinals against Kitara
The acquisition of Kiboga young was a master stroke from the forgotten darling of the new city. Club faithfulls believe had it not been for Covid-19, the club would be playing in UPL this season. They would have avoided the play offs where they lost to Kitara.
Today’s clash between Kataka FC and Mbale Heroes is one of those matches where the winner takes it all no matter the league position. Sitted 2nd on the table in the Elgon group, the Lufumbi boys have an upper hand going into the derby day having won 4 and lost 2 out of the 6 games played so far.
On the other hand, the surgeons are having an unpredictable season after only winning one game away to Maroons FC and drawing 3 games to stay second from the bottom.
They go into the derby after losing their last home fixture against Black Power FC which was played under closed doors after fans were banned from accessing the stadium for two matches.
The ban on the Heroes fans will not come into play in this fixture as this will be considered an away fixture but it will apply on Joel Ayella and Brian Olega after a two-match ban was imposed on them.
Elsewhere, West Nile will be on fire as bottom club Paidha Black Angels play host to table leaders Arua Hill in the West Nile derby at the Okoro stadium.
In form veteran striker Caesar Okhuti has spearheaded the attacking line for Arua hill coming in with crucial goals for the league leaders who lead the table on goal difference with 12 points from 6 matches but will be the only notable absentee due to injury.
Black Power vs Maroons Football club at Bukedea town council
Gaddafi FC vs Calvary FC Midingo at the Kyabazinga Stadium