Zanaco (ZAM) vs APR FC (RWA)
APR FC vs Zanaco
APR FC coach Jimmy Mulisa has said he is happy with his team’s preparations for the 2017 CAF Champions League, preliminary round tie against Zambia’s champions Zanaco.
The former Rwanda international said this after the reigning national league champions played out a 1-1 draw against DR Congo side Virunga in a friendly match on Sunday at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu.
Visitors Darling Club Virunga, under former Amagaju and Etincelles coach Abdul “Becken” Bizimana, took the lead in the 61st minute through Fiston Watenga before the former APR defender Moa Kalisa scored an own goal in the 74th minute off left back Eric Rutanga’s low good cross.
“The match was to prepare for the game against Zanaco, and I am happy with the way the players have played today, especially the manner in which they responded after conceding a goal. I am seeing improvement all over the field,” Mulisa said after the match.
APR’s soft-spoken rookie tactician noted, “We are trying to make sure that we have the strongest team available before we meet Zanaco. I am happy we are getting more confident with every match that we play. We need to improve in this competition; Zanaco will be a tough test.”
The record 16-time national league winners started residential training on Thursday at Shyorongi before traveling to Rubavu on Saturday.
Mulisa’s team will travel to Lusaka on Thursday ahead of the first leg match scheduled for Saturday with the return leg set for a week later, in Kigali.
Since the army side made their debut in Africa’s biggest club competition in 1997, APR have never reached the group stages whereas their opponents Zanaco reached the last 16 in 2010, their best record so far.
The winner between APR and Zanaco will face the winner of the game between Ngaya de Mbe of Cameroon and Young Africans of Tanzania. The first round fixtures will then be played on the weekends of March 11-13 and 17-19. The losers at the first round will drop to the CAF Confederation Cup.