West Nile Gaints Onduparaka Football Club continued their fine form in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League with a 1-0 win over Sports Club Villa at Ababet GreenLight Stadium in Arua City.
Talisman Muhammad Shaban was the standout player of the game and his first-half goal proved to be the difference on the day as he inspired his side to the 8th win of the season.
The Caterpillars made only one change from the side that beat Police FC 4-1 with Dudu Bosco introducing John Rogers for Okello Ivan.
On the other hand, SC Villa made three changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Express with the gaffer introducing goalkeeper Kibirige Meddie, Agele Benard and Lutalo Umar.
The Caterpillars outsmarted the Jogoos in the possession stats in the early stages of the clash with Mansoor Safi Agu missing an opportunity to put the hosts as his effort went wide just 12 minutes from kickoff.
SC Villa came into this fixture with just two wins in their last five games and really struggled to get hold of the game in the first stanza at Greenlight.
John Rogers came close to hitting the back of the net but his solo effort from the left flank went wide in the 30 minutes.
Nine minutes later, SC Villa’s custodian Kibirige Meddie was brilliantly beaten by Muhammad Shaban. The talisman picked up a poor clearance from Villa’s defense before curving at the top end for a 1-0.
Shaban was causing ravage to Villa’s defense with his calculative moves into the visitors’ box and had a chance to double the lead but his effort went wide as the Caterpillars took a 1-0 lead at the interval.
The visitors were nearly silenced shortly after the restart with Shaban continuing from where he left as his effort from Mansoor Agu’s delivery hit the woodwork in the 63rd minute.
Nicholas Kabonge came close to leveling matters for the visitors but his effort was well punched for a corner kick by Caterpillars’ custodian Mathias Muwanga in the 70 minutes.
SC Villa coach Petros Koukouras threw on Goffin Oyirworth, Joseph Kafumbe and Travis Mutyaba in the closing stages with the hope of bagging an equaliser.
However, Dudu’s charges remained resolute until the final whistle to claim a fourth successive win and their 8th win of the season.
Therefore, the result saw the Caterpillars leapfrog UPDF FC and Gaddafi FC in the 8th place of the log with 30 points from 24 games while SC Villa remained in the 12th place of the log with 25 points from 25 games.