Ibrahim Kirya looks on as his side trained at Kabojja

Wakiso Giants coach Ibrahim Kirya has leapt to goalkeeper Cleo Settuba’s defence after his howlers had put the side’s hopes of progressing to round of 16 in jeopardy.

The Purple Sharks overcame Big league side Kireka United in the round of 32 via post-match penalties in a game where Settuba was a villain over ninety minutes but a hero in post-match penalties.

After Wakiso going into lead through Ali Feni’s superb volley, a nervous Ssetuba made two howlers that left his side staring at elimination.

He gifted Umar Mbowa a chance to score into an empty net before Moments later he was at fault again when failed to deal with a long attempt that saw the ball land on the foot of Kamada ‘Ndiefi’ Ssebagala to put the Big League side into a surprise lead.

But substitute Abdul Karimu Kasule scored Wakiso’s second late on to force the game into penalties.

“Let’s not crucify him,” stated Kirya. “He made mistakes and football is like that. It’s a game of mistakes,” he added.

“Fortunately, he recovered and saved a penalty that took us through to the next round which is the most important thing in a knock out competition.”

Kirya made nine changes from the line-up that started against Doves All Stars in the Fufa Big League handing debuts to four players.

Explaining this, the former SC Villa and URA tactician says their focus is mainly on the Big League.

“The main goal this campaign is to gain promotion to the premier league and that explains the rapid changes. But we believe in every player we have and they did the job.”

Wakiso Giants are the Group Leaders in Elgon Group and are among favourites to earn promotion to the premier league.