Express are two games away from making history by becoming the first Ugandan club to win three major trophies in a single season.
Their quest for an unprecedented league, CECAFA Cup and Uganda Cup treble starts with the semi-final against BUL Bidco FC at the FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru on Thursday
The Red Eagles have already secured the Uganda Premier League title – the club’s first since 2012 – after they were declared winners after FUFA invoked Article 18 of its sporting regulations to end the season prematurely as the country was placed under lockdown in June.
Wasswa Bbosa’s men emerged from the lockdown to put on a string of dominant performances as they ascended to regional success at the CECAFA Kagame Cup.
Express won all but one of their five games at the regional club competition, to lift their first ever CECAFA title.
With FUFA later giving the go ahead for the 2021 Uganda Cup which remained unfinished to find a sporting conclusion, Express was given the opportunity to go one better than their rivals.
The semi-final comes days after the Red Eagles were eliminated from the CAF Champions League by Sudan’s Al Merriekh on away goals rule after a 1-0 defeat in Al Obeid City.
They will have to put aside the disappointment that also saw them lose their first game in 27 games aside and try reach their first Cup final since 2007.
Speaking before the game, Bbosa encouraged his played to learn from their Champions League exit and show how much they have learnt from playing at such a level.
“Having been eliminated from the CAF Champions League, we are back to battle for the Uganda Cup,” Bbosa explained.
“We learnt a lot on the continent. Everything we learnt we hope to apply beginning with the BUL FC game.”
“We respect BUL. They are a good team, but we want to make the final, we believe winning the game will motivate our fans more,” Bbosa added.
Bbosa will have to make do without striker Godfrey Lwesibawa who is ruled out with a knee problem that he picked up during their game against Merriekh on Sunday.
Denis Otim who has featured often in goal in the tournament is also expected to be recalled in goal as Joel Mutakubwa is Cup tied for the semi-final as he was registered with another club during the 2020/21 season.
The decision by FUFA for clubs to use only players licensed for the 2020/21 season affects BUL FC the most, as they have had to part with majority of their squad from last season during their rebuild for the new season.
This has inevitably forced head coach Alex Isabirye to make do with the remaining players from the previous season and also call upon several youth team players for the game.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the Uganda Cup, but it will be the 17th meeting between the two in all competitions.
BUL has been dominant in the fixture winning seven of those games, while Express have managed only four wins, while the rest have ended in stalemates.
Express FC beat BUL FC 4-0 in their only league meeting last season at Bugembe stadium.