Vipers moved to within four points of leaders SC Villa as they opened the Azam Uganda Premier League second round with a 1-0 away win over Soana in Kavumba on Saturday evening.
Striker Daniel “Mzee” Sserunkuma marked his first start and league debut with the game’s most decisive contribution, an 87th minute goal to separate the sides.
It was no more than the Venoms deserved after dominating the game and creating the better chances throughout the game.
Manager Miguel Da Costa welcomed the Cranes contingent back into the team with Ismail Watenga starting in goal while club captain slotted in at right back.
Sserunkuma meanwhile started alongside Erisa Sekisambu and Milton Karisa either side in attack.
Sserunkuma got the game’s first chance after being released by a Karisa touch.
His effort was however saved by the onrushing Soana goalkeeper as the Venoms bossed bossed proceedings.
It was in the second half however that they really stepped up with Moses Waiswa crossing for Erisa Sekisambu who stumbled as he tried to make contact six yards away from goal.
He then had a strong penalty appeal waved away by centre referee Wilberforce Oloya after he appeared to be tripped by Soana defender Siraje Turyamehebwa.
That would be his last contribution as he was replaced by Steven Mukwala while Brian Nkuubi had earlier replaced Waiswa.
Mukwala then saw his goal bound header cleared off the line from a corner while Nkuubi had freekick parried as the Venoms piled on the pressure.
Watenga then dropped a cross as he landed on the ground but the opposition failed to capitalise in what was their only noteworthy chance.
And when Sserunkuma failed to connect with a pass inside the box it looked as if the game would end goalless.
But with three minutes left, Soana defender Mike Kawooya misjudged a long ball and Pius Wangi who had come on for Deus Bukenya ghosted in behind him to cleverly set up Sserunkuma.
The diminutive forward then took his time controlling first before picking out his post to the goalkeeper’s left and send the sizable Vipers fans into delirium.
The win consequently cemented the Venoms’ third position but moved them to 29 points from 16 games, just four behind leaders SC Villa who drew goalless with Maroons.
They are also level with second placed KCCA who were not in action.
Vipers next play Onduparaka at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday.
Starting XI:- Watenga, Wadada, Asiku, Wasswa, Lutimba, Bukenya (Wangi), Lwanga, Waiswa (Nkuubi), Ssekisambu (Mukwala), Karisa & Sserunkuma.