Monday: First leg
Bugesera FC Vs APR FC 3:30pm
Amagaju FC Vs AS Kigali
APR FC head coach Jimmy Mulisa has admitted that they need to beat Bugesera today when both sides meet in the first leg of the Peace Cup quarter-finals at Nyamata ground.
The military side could end the season empty handed if they fail to eliminate Bugesera FC in this two-legged last eight tie. Bugesera beat APR 2-1 on the final day of the season last Thursday.
“It’s a must to win this game if we are to proceed to the semi-finals. We want to give our fans something to cheer about at the end of what has been a very difficult season,” Mulisa told Sunday Sport.
The former APR and Amavubi forward added: “It’s a very important game for us. We lost against them in the league so we need to be careful this time round if we are to get a better result. We need to be more focused and take the best chances away from home.”
Mulisa joined APR at the start of the season when he replaced his opposite number today, Gilbert ‘Yaoundé’ Kanyankore, who was sacked after only a few days in charge.
Kanyankore will be looking to guide Bugesera to the semi-finals slot for the first time after helping them to finish in fifth place in the league with 50 points in only their second season playing in the topflight division.
“Our objective is to win the game because we are playing at home and we need to put ourselves in the best position possible ahead of the second,” Kanyankore said.
The second leg fixture is set for Thursday this week.
APR will not only be facing their former coach but also former players, including goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera as well as forwards Bienvenue Mugenzi, Faruk Ruhinda Ssentongo and Bertrand Iradukunda.
Kanyankore added: “It is going to be tough for sure but we are ready and looking forward to the game. APR have the best squad in the country but we beat them last week and hopefully we can do it again on Monday.”
APR will miss the services of defensive midfielder Yannick Mukunzi, who was sent off against Bugesera in the final league match of the season last week.
Eight-time winners APR FC finished third in the league, four points behind second-placed Police FC, and winning the Peace Cup is their only way through which they can play continental football next season.
Elsewhere, AS Kigali, winners of this competition in 2013, will today play away to Amagaju FC at Nyagisenyi ground in their first leg of this last eight fixture.
Meanwhile, Holders Rayon Sports beat Police FC 2-1 last evening to boost their chances of reaching the last four, with the second leg scheduled for Wednesday this week.
The tie between Marines and Espoir remains finely balanced going into Wednesday’s return leg as both sides played out a one-all draw at Umuganda stadium last evening.
The semi-final matches are due June 28 while the final is set for July 4. The eventual winners will represent Rwanda in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup, but should Rayon add the Cup to their league trophy Police will represent the country in the Confederation Cup since they finished first runner-up in the league this season.