APR coach Mulisa urges players to keep impetus
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CAF Confed Cup
Feb. 9-11; First Leg
Anse Reunion vs APR FC
Feb. 20-21; Second Leg
APR FC vs Anse Reunion
Azam League, Feb. 25
Rayon Sports vs APR FC
APR FC head coach Jimmy Mulisa has called on his side to keep the high spirits ahead of a busy fixture schedule in the Azam Rwanda Premier League and CAF Confederation Cup.
Malisa made remarks after seeing his team come from behind to beat Rayon Sports 2-1 on final day of the Heroes Cup although their archrivals went on to win the trophy on goal difference as three teams (Rayon, APR and Police) finished on four points from three matches.
The 2017 Peace Cup winners, APR, will face Seychelles league side Anse Reunion in the preliminary round of CAF Confederation Cup first leg on the weekend of Feb. 9-11 and will host the second leg on Feb. 20-21 in Kigali before facing Rayon Sports in the league four days later.
Mulisa said, “We are happy after defeating Rayon Sports but we have to pay attention on the next fixtures in CAF Confederation Cup and the national league. We have three big matches coming, we need to well-prepared.”
But before, APR have a round of 32 (1/16th) Peace Cup tie against a yet to be known opponents, to negotiate with the first leg set for Feb. 6-7.
Mulisa’s team have to contend with playing five matches in the month of February, something that will likely stretch his squad to the limit.
“I am happy that we managed to come from behind to beat Rayon Sports but we have to put that aside and look forward because we have many tough games ahead and we need to do well in all of them,” explained the former Amavubi forward.
He added, “We are here to do a job and we are professionals, and we don’t like to rest. All the players like to play games, so it is great we have so many matches because games add match fitness and maturity for the players.”
“We have no choice. The players will play many games and this is our job we have to work hard and we have good squad to work with. The players are working hard every day and their will keep working but we are humans and we don’t forget that,” he noted.
If APR managed to eliminate Anse Reunion, they will face the winner between Mali 2 of Mali and Liberia’s Elwa United in the first round of Africa’s second biggest club competition.
Last season, the record 16-time league winners did not go past the preliminary round of CAF Champions League, crashing out of the competition at the hands of Zambia’s seven-time league champions Zanaco FC.
APR FC are currently third in the Azam Rwanda Premier League with 15 points, two behind joint leaders SC Kiyovu after ten rounds of matches.
On Thursday, new signing Hussein ‘Tchabalala’ Shaban put Rayon Spoprts in the lead after four minutes with a powerful header from a well taken free kick by Pierrot Kwizera.
But APR equalized in the 62nd minute through midfilder Muhadjir Hakizimana with a wonderful free kick before striker Issa Bigirimana, who came on to replace Jean Claude Iranzi, netted the winning goal in the 77th minute.