APR march towards League title
APR 3-2 Rayon
Kiyovu 2-1 Espoir
Ten-man APR closed in on their 13th league title with a deserved 3-2 comeback victory over archrivals Rayon Sports in a thrilling match played yesterday at Amahoro stadium.
The champions came back from a 2-1 deficit in the first half to score two more goals in the second half and dethroned Police at the top of the table standing.
Jerome Sina scored a double for the Blues on 4th and 15th minute following blunders in APR’s defence and Jean Marie Ntagwabira’s team looked on course for an important win over their bitter rivals.
Haiti-born striker St Preux Lionnel reduced the deficit with an excellent header on the stroke of halt time.
Rayon goalie Alphonse Nizeyimana made three fine saves from Olivier Karekezi and Faty Papy to keep his team in the lead going into the break.
Whatever he told them during the half time team talk, Ernest Brandts men came from the break hungrier and they pressed for an equalizer, keeping Rayon in their own half for a sustained period.
The pressured paid off on 69th minute, when Lionnel notched in the equalizing goal after meeting a rebound shot from Jean Claude Iranzi, whose long-range attempt caused all sorts of problems for Nizeyimana, who until that moment had been the big difference between his team losing the game and winning it.
But as fate would have it, Nizeyimana injured his right thump in the process and was substituted by Willy Kabuya, and it wasn’t long before the new keeper was beaten for APR’s third and winning goal.
Rayon’s defensive make-up, which was led by veteran defender Hamad Ndikumana lost concentration and on 77th minute Kabange Twite dribbled past Karim Nizigiyimana and Iddy Nshimiyimana before beating Kabuya.
But five minutes to the end, APR’s two goal hero Lionnel turned villain when he was sent off after being booked for a dive. Not happy with the booking, the Haitian striker appeared to insult assistant referee Felicien Kabanda and referee Louis Hakizimana had no hesitation in showing him a red card.
The victory puts APR back in the driving seat with 46 points, three points ahead of main title rivals Police Fc in 21 matches played this season with three matches left to the end of the season.
The champions still have matches against Mukura on May 2, Kiyovu on May 6 and Nyanza on May 12.
In the other game played yesterday, Julius Bakkabulindi scored a double to help SC Kiyovu come from behind to beat relegation bound Espoir 2-1 and leapfrog Rayon into third position with 38 points.
Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw