Ten-man APR beat Rayon to go third
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Ten-man APR FC beat archrivals Rayon Sports 1-0 Sunday at Amahoro National Stadium to climb into the third position on the Azam Rwanda Premier League table.
The military side’s win, courtesy of Muhadjir Hakizimana’s long range strike in the 27th minute, helped Jimmy Mulisa to close the gap on leaders SC Kiyovu to three points.
The sole goal of the game arrived through a mistake by Rayon Sports’ Burundian playmaker Pierrot Kwizera after he lost possession to APR’s Imran Nshimiyimana, who set up Hakiziamana.
Muhadjir was later sent off in the 40th minute by referee Louis Hakizimana for a second bookable offence but, despite the numerical disadvantage and relentless pressure from Rayon Sports, APR held on for a crucial win.
Two minutes after the goal Muhadjir hit the crossbar following miscommunication between Rayon Sports midfielders Kwizera and Olivier ‘Seif’ Niyonzima.
Rayon Sports forward Shassir Nahimana had a chance to equaliser in the 30th minute but his shot was saved by Yves Kimenyi.
In the 40th minute Muhadjir was shown a second yellow card for simulation inside the penalty box, a decision that infuriated the APR technical bench and fans inside the fully-packed Amahoro arena.
Thierry Manzi, Bimenyimana and Ismaila Diarra had chances to put Rayon Sports on level terms but were all denied by the inspired Kimenyi, who was later booked for time-wasting, along with defender Denis Rukundo.
Kwizera had three shots on target as he attempted to redeem himself for the mistake that led to APR’s goal but in vain.
Head coach Olivier Karekezi’s team has now lost twice in a row against his former club, having lost to the same side 2-1 in the final of this year’s Heroes Cup early this month.
Former APR midfielder Yannick Mukunzi came on for Niyonzima, who walked a tight rope after receiving a yellow card at in the opening stages of the match, while Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana replaced Nahimana as Karekezi pressed for the equaliser, which never came.
SC Kiyovu lead the standings with 23 points, two ahead of second-placed AS Kigali, while APR are in third with 20 points. Yesterday’s defeat meant that defending champions Rayon Sports dropped to fourth place with 18 points, two behind APR.