Atraco v Marines
Electrogaz v Police
Kiyovu v Rayon
Mukura v APR
AS Kigali v La Jeunesse
Atraco Fc will not be hoping for any slip-up in their quest to be crowned Rwanda’s league champions when they face Marines in the final game of the season this afternoon at Amahoro stadium.
The Cecafa/Kagame Cup holders go into the game leading the standings with 50 points, two ahead of their closest rivals APR. A win for Sam Timbe’s team, regardless of what happens in APR’s game with Mukura, will earn them a second consecutive league title.
On-form striker Hamis Kitagenda and team captain Jean Shyaka boosted Atraco’s preparations by training with the squad yesterday. However, Peter Kagabo misses the game through suspension.
Speaking on behalf of his boss, Atraco’s assistant coach Emmanuel Ruremesha told Times Sport they will treat the game like a cup final, not taking anything for granted because anything can happen.
“We are totally focused on the challenge ahead. Everyone is thinking about this game which we’re determined to win. We want to retain our title, something that would go along way in earning us respect from our rivals.
“Apart from Peter Kagabo, who is suspended, we don’t have any injury worries. The entire squad is pumped up for the game,” said Ruremesha, who was also Jean Marie Ntagwabira’s assistant when Atraco won the league last season.
APR return to Huye three days after the disappointment of being eliminated from this year’s MTN Peace Cup final by the same side.
The nine-time league champions will be hoping that they beat Mukura and praying hard that Atraco fails to get all three points against Marine.
APR’s Dutch coach Erik Paske said yesterday that APR head to Huye with some sort of revenge on their mind after Mukura eliminated them from the MTN Peace Cup in the semifinal.
“We have to keep the motivation in the team and I have told the players that we must have our revenge against Mukura,” said Paske.
He however, revealed that midfielder Jean Baptista Mugiraneza ‘Migi’ and defender Elias Ntaganda are both major doubts for the game after picking up knocks in training yesterday.
Ferwafa has put in place two separate trophies, one at Amahoro stadium and another at Huye. The new arrangement is meant to ease the last minute pressures of transporting the league trophy to where the eventual winners will have played from. Both Atraco and APR have the chance to win the league and the federation wants the winner to receive their trophy immediately after the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Mukura’s head coach Ali Bizimungu is convinced that his side can frustrate further the military side.
“Breaking into the ‘big four’ teams has always been our desire and so we have the opportunity to do it today,” said the Mukura tactician.
Bizimungu, who has never lost to APR as coach hopes that his players reproduce the same form that saw them hold APR to two draws in the MTN Peace Cup semifinal
“Both teams now know each other well; it will be up to the coaches to decide on which tactics to employ. The game will be won by the coaches,” he noted.
Additional reporting by PAUL NTAMBARA