APR turn focus on domestic scene after Confed Cup exit

APR FC have now turned their attention to the battle for the Azam Rwanda Premier League title following their disappointing exit from CAF Confederation Cup.
Djoliba forward Naby Soumah tries to dribble past APR defender Herve Rugwiro (#4) and midfielder JB Mugiraneza during the second leg match at Amahoro Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana.
Djoliba forward Naby Soumah tries to dribble past APR defender Herve Rugwiro (#4) and midfielder JB Mugiraneza during the second leg match at Amahoro Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana.

First round; 2nd leg
Selected results
Saturday
APR FC 2-1 Djoliba (2-2*)
Nkana 1-0 CR Belouizdad (1-3*)
Club Africain 0-1 RS Berkane (1-4*)
Nouadhibou 2-4 Raja Casablanca (3-5*)
Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid 6-0 Olympique Star (*6-0)
Al Masry 0-0 Simba (2*-2)

APR FC have now turned their attention to the battle for the Azam Rwanda Premier League title following their disappointing exit from CAF Confederation Cup.

The military side beat Djoliba AC de Bamako of Mali 2-1 in their second-leg of Confed Cup first round on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali but crushed out of the competition as they needed an extra goal to overcome their opponents’ away goal advantage. The two-legged tie ended 2-2 goal aggregate.

Djoliba progressed to the playoff stage on the away goal rule, having won the first leg 1-0 on March 7 in Bamako.

“My players had good mentality and after going a goal down they responded well to win the tie although the win was not enough to take us through to the next round because of an early goal we conceded,” said head coach Ljubomir Petrovic.

The 70-year old Serbian added: “We have not reached our target and we’ll now turn our focus to the domestic competitions.”

On Saturday, Djoliba took the lead in the 9th minute courtesy of a brilliant header from forward Siaka Bagayoko. APR equalised ten minutes later through midfielder Djihad Bizimana. The hosts continued to press forward in search for a second goal but the first half end 1-1.

Petrovic made changes in the 47th minute, bringing on young forward Inncocent Nshuti for the Dominique Savio Nshuti, and nine minutes later he introduced forward Maxime Sekamana who replaced Issa Bigirimana.

Nshuti, 19, put APR in the lead in the 75th minutes as the home side pressed further but the comeback fell just short as the Malians held on to reach the playoff round.

APR have never reached the group stages since they made their debut in African competitions in 1997.

In the Azam Rwanda Premier League, APR are seventh on the table standings with 21 points from 12 matches but they have three games in hand – against Espoir, Etincelles and Gicumbi FC.

Meanwhile, the likes of Raja Casablanca and RS Berkane progressed to the playoff stage of the competition, while Tanzania’s Simba have bowed out at the hands of Al Masry. Zambia’s Nkana defeated Algerian visitors CR Belouizdad 1-0 in Kitwe but succumbed 3-1 overall.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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