The defending champions squandered a two goal lead and relatively threw their title defense in tatters after losing all three points at home against Mbarara city.
Unsurprisingly however, it was Mbarara city who inflicted Vipers to their first loss of the season when they beat them 1-0 in Mbarara and consequently, they have become the first side to complete a double against the defending champions.
The Venons have now gone 4 games without winning at home after losing to Express FC, drawing with Wakiso Giants and leaving it late against URA FC.
Express’ emphatic 4-0 victory against Busoga in Njeru have seen Vipers drop to 3rd place on the log. The Red Eagles now assume table leadership with 55 points,URA second with 54 points albeit a game in hand .
Yunus Sentamu handed Vipers a flying start in as early as the 16th minute. He beat an offside trap to give the hosts a lead.
Moments later, former Mbarara city captain Paul Mucurezi extended Vipers lead to send the game into half time the hosts cruising infront.
In resumption for the second period, Mbabazi’s men returned a different entity. They changed in approach and threw everything in their powers to Vipers.
Their resilience got repaid in the 60th minute when striker Jude Semugabi forced the ball into the area that invited a handball in the forbidden area.
Solomon Okwalinga made no mistake but to flawlessly convert from 6 yards to cut Vipers’ deficit to 1.
Before Vipers reorganised to restore their two goal lead, Bashir Mutanda pounced on a lose ball and sent a rocket that beat Fabien Mutombora to draw the game level.
At this moment Mbabazi and his technical team sensed that at least a point would be tenable and they made another switch in tactics.
They withdrew former Vipers defender cum winger Innocent Wafula for Derrick Onyai and also introduced Ronald Odwok for Ibrahim Magandazi .
Vipers retrospectively introduced the pacy and direct Richard Basangwa for the calm and collected Najib Yiga in the 65th minute.
3 minutes later, Fred Kajoba pressed the panic button and made another pair of substitutions. A rare appearance for Abraham Ndugwa coming for Allan Kayiwa and scorer Paul Mucurezi making way for Jamil Kalisa.
Kajoba exhausted all his 5 substitutions in the 83rd minute when he withdrew another former Mbarara city Ibrahim Orit for Lawrwnce Tezikya.
With the game seemingly destined for a stalemate, the lanky Jude Semugabi stung Vipers again but this time not through causing a penalty but by scoring himself to send the score to 3-2 in favour of the visitors.
Vipers never managed to recover from his goal and consequently recorded their second loss at home.
They will return into action on Friday to revive their title quest defense. They visit Bright Stars at Kavumba.
Mbarara city will host Police on Saturday
Busoga United 0-4 Express
Onduparaka 0-0 Bright Stars
Wakiso Giants 2-1 BUL FC
Kitara 3-1 MYDA