- Neiva had taken charge in July 2023
- He becomes the second coach after Alex Isabirye to be fired by Vipers
- Compatriots KCCA are on the rise
Vipers SC have fired their Brazilian coach Leo Neiva following a spate of unsatisfactory results. A statement on the club’s website said the two parties had ended the contract on mutual consent.
Neiva becomes the second Vipers coach to be fired this season.
“Vipers Sports Club informs its stakeholders and general public that it has by mutual consent ended its contractual relationship with Mr. Leonard Martins Neiva (Head Coach) effective December 23rd, 2023. The club would like to thank Neiva for his services during his stay at the Venoms family and wishes him the best in his career development,” a statement from the reigning Ugandan Premier League champions read.
Neiva joined Vipers in July, after his predecessor Alex Isabirye also left the club. The decision to fire him came after the 3-2 defeat at home to Bidco Uganda Limited (BUL) in a Premier League clash.
There were reports that frustration was mounting among the club’s management with Neiva’s general performance following defeats by major rivals KCCA FC and subsequently BUL FC.
Neiva had presided over a failed CAF Champions League campaign where they got eliminated at the first preliminary stage by Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy which was his primary role.
His goose was however cooked when Vipers were beaten 3-2 at home by BUL. The victory took BUL to 29 points, four ahead of second placed Vipers, with one match left before the year ends.
Vipers undone by a determined BUL
Nicholas Mwere, Lawrence Tezikya and Ibrahim Mugulusi scored for BUL to end Vipers’ unbeaten home run that had stood for over two years. The last time Vipers were beaten at their St Mary’s Kitende backyard was in November 2021, a 2-0 victory for URA FC.
Yunus Sentamu and substitute Mohamed Salem Ekbad netted the hosts’ consolation on a night of end-to-end action.
BUL broke the deadlock in the eighth minute through Mwere, who netted after grabbing the pieces left after Vipers scrambled to clear Jerome Kirya’s corner. They added a second at the stroke of half-time, with Tezikya rounding off the backline to squeeze from a tight angle.
The Venoms found a lifeline after 50 minutes through a powerful Sentamu shot past Tom Ikara. BUL however, added a third in the 66th minute through substitute Mugulusi, easily beat Fabien Mutombora from outside the box.
Salem then scored Vipers’ second through a header off Patrick Mbowa’s cross, to give his side hope for a late leveller. However, despite late surges, the BUL backline stood strong as we succumbed to defeat at home turf.
KCCA pick vital win
Meanwhile, their compatriots Kampala City Council Authority seem to be on the rise. They moved to 10th in the Ugandan Premier League after a 2-1 derby day victory over SC Villa. This was KCCA’s second win on the trot and the third in four matches, as they continued their resurgence following a difficult start to the year.
This was also KCCA’s first victory away from home, and a massive boost to their hopes of pushing into the top half of the log.
Two quickfire goals in the first half were enough to hand the capital city club the victory, despite a nervous second half.
KCCA had a good start with Ettiene Katenga scoring the opener after quarter of an hour, finishing up Gui Cungulo’s assist. Four minutes later, Ashraf Mugume doubled KCCA’s lead off Fillbert Obenchan’s delivery in the box.
With a 2-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes, it was the exact type of start they needed. It made them comfortable and reduced the pressure on their shoulders.
They were however rattled in the 32nd minute when Villa halved the deficit, with Charles Lwanga scoring against his former employers. It made for some uncomfortable defending for KCCA in the second half, but they did just enough to preserve the lead and clinch a massive three points.