APR vs Vital’O
JUST hours before kick-starting their Kagame Cup campaign with a tie against Vital’O, APR have received a huge boost following the return of Abbas Rassou.
The star striker had flown out to Cameroon to take care of some family issues but his return on Wednesday left a big smile on the team’s assistant coach Eric Nshimiyimana.
“He is a big player for us and his return is definitely a huge boost for the team.”
“We want to win the tournament and to do so; we need to have our top players firing. Mentally, I feel the team is ready,” said Nshimiyimana before adding, “We should not forget that we shall have the home support.”
Malawi International Chikuepo Msowoya is also expected to link up with the team this morning after undergoing a brief trial stint in South Africa.
APR, who are chasing for a third title, begin their quest tomorrow against Burundi’s Vital’O at Amahoro Stadium.
The army side will then play Djibouti’s Telkom on Wednesday before winding up their Pool A campaign with a toughie against African Champions TP Mazembe on May 22.
In 2004, Jean Marie Ntagwabira guided APR to their first Kagame Cup honours after beating Kenya’s Ulinzi 3-1 in the final.
Three years later, the club was back at it again, this time edging Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). At the time, the club was under the tutelage of Congolese coach Andy Mfutila.
Other teams in contention this year include Rayon Sport, Heartland (Nigeria), St. George (Ethiopia) and Mafunzo (Zanzibar) in Pool B and reigning champions Atraco, URA, Sofapaka (Kenya) and Simba (Tanzania).
After the preliminary stage, the top two sides in each group coupled with the best two third-placed teams will proceed to the quarter finals.
The winner will pocket $30, 000 while first and second runners-up will walk away with $20,000 and $10,000.
The tournament will be jointly held at Amahoro and Nyamirambo regional stadium.