Defending champions Vipers Sc saw their unbeaten start to the 2020/2021 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season come to an end following a 1-0 defeat to Mbarara City at the Kakyeka Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Vipers SC went into the game off the back of a four game-winning run and fancied their chances against their struggling hosts who had lost two of their last three games.
Vipers were yet to suffer defeat against Mbarara City drawing two of their last three meetings at Kakyeka.
The Venoms who had slipped into second after Express climbed to the top of the table needed maximum points to regain top spot, but were shocked by former Venom Ceaser Kitegenyi’s strike.
Vipers had the better start and nearly took the lead inside five minutes through Henry Manzoki but were denied by the crossbar.
The visitors continued on the front foot as Yunus Ssentamu, Ibrahim Orit and Manzoki came close to breaking the deadlock but goalkeeper Muhammad Ssekeba stood firm.
Bebe Swalik had the best opportunity of the day for Mbarara City but tapped over the crossbar as both sides went into the half time still level.
Two minutes after the restart, the Ankole Lions found the decisive goal through Kitegenyi who used his pace to beat Vipers defender Bashir Asiku to the ball before lobbying over the goalkeeper.
Vipers huffed and puffed going into the final minutes of the game but were lacklustre inside the final third.
Mbarara City climb into 11th on the log on 13 points from 12 games while Vipers relinquish their lead at the top of the table to Express who are ahead of them on 28 points.
Vipers face a crunch home clash against rivals SC Villa next week on Wednesday while Mbarara make the trip to Arua for a tie against Onduparaka.