In a thrilling clash that resonated with the passion of Busoga’s football aficionados, reigning champions Bukooli Namayingo emerged victorious with a confident 2-0 win over Bunhole Bunanumba in the opening fixture of the MTN Busoga Masaza Cup.
The showdown unfolded at the Bwondha primary school playground on a day pulsating with excitement along the Mayuge-Bwondha highway.
The fixture marked the kickoff of a highly anticipated tournament, supported generously by MTN Uganda, who have contributed a significant portion of the sponsorship package, injecting life into this colorful sporting spectacle.
Iduma Odenga’s Screamer and Levis Barasa’s Clincher
The reigning champions, Bukooli Namayingo, seized control of Group C with a compelling victory over their local rivals. Iduma Odenga stole the spotlight with a breathtaking 30-yard screamer that found the net after 22 minutes, unleashing euphoria among the supporters who had flocked to witness the action.
The drama reached its crescendo in the 91st minute, as Levis Barasa Muwango calmly slotted home a tap-in to secure the 2-0 triumph.
Reflecting on the victory, George William Wamala, the head coach of Bukooli-Namayingo, applauded his players for executing the game plan of securing an early advantage.
“We had a game strategy of scoring earlier to boost our confidence in the game, and that really paid off until we got the caution goal. But in our training session, we must work on our possessive approach as Bunanumba really dominated us in the second half,” Wamala commented.
MTN Uganda and Haojue Motorcycle Company Celebrate Large Turnout
The atmosphere surrounding the event was electrifying, with legions of passionate football enthusiasts converging from every corner of Busoga’s chiefdoms.
MTN Uganda’s Manager for Sponsorships and Events, John Paul Okwi, expressed his elation at the remarkable turnout, noting, “Today we had a much bigger audience than last year’s on the opening day. This indeed shows how excited our people from Busoga are through sports such as football. As MTN, we shall continue to support such events that draw such large audiences.”
Wei Biao, Manager of Haojue Motorcycle Company, echoed the sentiment, thrilled to witness the fervent response of the crowd. The Deputy Prime Minister of Busoga Kingdom, Osman Noor, extended gratitude to the sponsors for their role in stirring up enthusiasm through sports. “This large turn up indeed shows how excited people are when big companies like MTN Uganda and Haojue Motorcycle inject money to support sports development,” Noor affirmed.
Enhancing Teams and Prizes
Busoga Kingdom’s Sports Minister, Amin Nkono Bbosa, acknowledged the impact of sponsorships in orchestrating such a vibrant event. Bbosa highlighted that all 14 Masaza Cup competing teams had received two sets of jerseys, and the top four semi-finalists were rewarded with an increased prize purse.
“This crowd has come here because of MTN Uganda and other sponsors that have indeed helped us organize such a colorful event. As event organizers, we are very grateful for MTN Uganda,” Bbosa lauded.
Kigulu vs. Bulamogi and More Action-Packed Encounters
The football frenzy will resume on Saturday when two-time champions Kigulu host Bulamogi at the Iganga Saza Ground. Meanwhile, Butembe, former one-time winners, will square off against Bukooli Bugiri at the Bugembe Stadium. The action-packed weekend will conclude on Sunday as Bugabula takes on Busiki at the Kamuli Municipal Stadium.
In this year’s fiercely contested competition, the collective contributions of MTN Uganda, Haojue Motorcycles, and Nile Breweries have amounted to a total sponsorship injection of Shs 500 million.