Police vs KCCA - 1:30pm
APR FC vs El Mereikh - 4pm
APR will go into today’s Cecafa Kagame Cup final against Sudanese giants El Mereikh at Amahoro National Stadium, full of confidence to win a fourth title.
The army side will be playing their seventh final and have won the trophy three times, same as El Mereikh. APR’s three titles have all been won on home soil—in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
The Rwandan champions reached the final with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win against local rivals Police FC, while Sudanese champions El Mereikh beat their Ugandan counterparts, KCCA 3-0 also on post match spot-kicks, following a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes.
APR assistant coach Vincent Mashami, who has been in charge of the team throughout the tournament, is confident his troops have a good chance to win a fourth regional title in four attempts on home soil.
Mashami said: “We are at home, so we need to use that advantage to win the title, our aim is to win this competition although we will be up against a very good and experienced El Mereikh side, nonetheless, we are ready for the challenge.”
“The semi-final against Police was equally tough but we managed to get through it successfully. We have one more game ahead of us, which we need to win to make sure the trophy stays in Rwanda,” added the former Isonga FC coach.
“It was good to reach the final. We have enjoyed a good run in this competition and hopefully we go on to lift the title. It was very important for us to make it to the final because we have played well throughout the tournament.”
El Mereikh head coach Yousief Burhaneldin is equally confident of his team’s chances of winning the regional title away from home.
“We will do all we can to win the title, we will go into the final to win nothing else” he said after his team’s penalty shoot-out win against KCCA on Friday.
“I am really impressed that we won the semi-final against a big team like KCCA and we are ready to face APR in the final.
“It is going to be a very tough game because they (APR) are playing in-front of their home fans. My players were outstanding against KCCA, and hopeful they will do the same,” he stated.
The final will be preceded by the third place playoff match between Police FC and Ugandan champions, KCCA.
The 40th Cecafa inter-club tournament is organised by the Council for East and Central African Football Association. It has been known as the Kagame Inter-club Cup since 2002 when President Paul Kagame began sponsoring the competition to a tune of $60,000 of every year.
The winner will walk away with a cash prize US$30,000 on top of the trophy, while the first runner-sup will take US$20,000 and the third-placed team will take home US$10,000.