Record nine-time league winner APR coach has predicted that a tough race in guiding the military side to a tenth league title following their loss to fierce rivals Atraco over the weekend.
Erik Paske told Times Sport after the game that it will difficult for the military side to win this year’s league title.
“Before the game, we harbored title hopes but now it’s not going to be easy for us to close down on leaders Atraco,”
“We only have to win the remaining matches and hope that Atraco lose some fixtures too such that we can get close to them but for now our chances of winning the title are slim,” Paske said.
Former APR striker Andre Lomami scored late in the game to give Atraco a 1-0 win over their closest title rivals APR in one of the league title deciders on Saturday at Amahoro stadium.
Substitute Lomami scored in the 83rd minute on a quick counter-attack involving another substitute Ismail Habumugisha to shoot past the advancing APR goalie Jean Claude Ndoli.
The victory for the taxi-men club came after 80 minutes of poor a display of football from both clubs nonetheless they moved four points clear at the top.
The first half was not eye-catching and the second period was even poorer as either team failed to create any meaningful attempt on goal.
The champions would have converted many goals with their attacking game in the early minutes of the game when Jean Shyaka set up Johnson Bagoole a perfect pass but the Ugandan Cranes midfielder saw his attempt rebound off the post.
Atraco goalie Eric Ndayishimiye saved a deflected free-kick shoot from Haruna Niyonzima to deny the hosts.
However, the champions’ attacking game faded as the game grew older as the league leading scorer Jean Lomami was easily marked out of the game by the ever present skipper Mbuyu Twite.
Right-back Jean Uwacu was not at his usual best as he lacked consistency in his ball control causing a scare in the APR defense on a number of occasions.
The later inclusion of Lomami decided the winner of the day as he beat goalie Ndoli through a counter-attack to ditch APR out of the contention for the league title.
For APR to keep in the hunt for the league title, they must win against Police on May 3, Kiyovu on May 9, and Electrogaz on May 17 and away to Mukura on June 28 respectively.
The win maintained Atraco’s lead at the top of the table with 43 points, four ahead of APR in second with four matches left.
However, Ugandan born Coach Sam Timbe is not yet assured of the league title and wants to win the remaining matches before making any further confirmations.
“I would be grateful guiding Atraco to her second league title but this will happen when I win the remaining matches before the league ends,” Timbe said.
With four matches to go, Atraco will play away to AS Kigali on May 2, host Rayon Sport on May 9, away to Mukura on May 16 and host Marines on June 28.