AS Kigali out to stop APR

The City of Kigali sponsored AS Kigali face a daunting task against leaders APR in the Turbo King Football League clash on Saturday at Stade de Kigali.
Andrew Buteera is fast developing into a key player in the APR midfield.
Andrew Buteera is fast developing into a key player in the APR midfield.

The City of Kigali sponsored AS Kigali face a daunting task against leaders APR in the Turbo King Football League clash on Saturday at Stade de Kigali.

AS Kigali go into today’s match with a win-loss ratio against the record 13-times champions APR, who have convincingly won their opening two matches of the season.

However, despite odds being tossed against his side getting maximum points, AS Kigali coach Andrew Gasambungo is looking forward to the game, which he admits would determine whether his team are real title contenders or pretenders.

 “It doesn’t come any harder than this, but we have had good preparations and all the players are in a good state to give their best. We’re, not just going to turn up, we need the three points to put ourselves in a good position in the title race,” added told Saturday Sport.

Their opponents APR have made a strong statement in the manner in which they have seen off their opposition in the 6-2 opening day victory against Marines and a 2-0 win over new comers Esperance to remain the only team with a perfect record in the league.

Elsewhere on Saturday, SC Kiyovu, who have made a disappointing start to the season under new coach Gilbert Yaounde Kanyankole host Gicumbi FC, who are managed by their former coach Jean Baptist Kayiranga.

Kanyankole will, for the third weekend, be without two of his new signings; Jean Girukwishaka and Michel Girukwishaka, who are yet to finalise official transfer paperwork from Burundian side Vital’O.

He will also miss his skipper Djuma Niyonkuru, who has two accumulated yellow cards, however, midfield maestro Christian Mbirizi returns after missing the goalless draw match against Rayon Sports a fortnight ago.

Both sides will be seeking to register their first win of the season. SC Kiyovu lay on ninth position with two points, one better than Gicumbi, who are placed 11th.

Sixth-placed Mukura Victory Sports will be hoping to return to wining ways when they take on visiting Etincelles at Kamena stadium in their first home match of the season.

But coach Cedric Kaze will be without key players including midfielders Mutekuruwa Ombeni, Rodrigue Mazuru Mapua and striker Bertrand Yossa Ngandjeu, who have all picked up injuries in the opening two fixtures.

Etincelles has drawn twice at home (Rubavu) and will hope to maintain their fair start to the season as they seek to sink Kaze’s side which lost 1-0 against Etincelles’s archrivals, Marines in the previous round after making a flying start with a 4-0 against AS Muhanga.

Ssimbwa concern

On Sunday, defending champion Rayon Sports face Southern Province neighbours AS Muhanga at Stade de Kigali, while Sam Simbwa’s Police FC host Musanze at Kicukiro turf.

Following the goalless draw against old enemies Kiyovu in their last outing, Rayon will be looking for maximum points in order to stay in close distance with APR, and French coach Didier Gomes da Rosa would be disappointed if his players let him down against their former coach Ali Bizimungu.

As for Police FC, their coach Ssimbwa is quite worried about the number of injuries to key payers ahead of what will be a tough period as his team prepares to face Musanze, APR and Rayon Sports within seven days.

Former Kiyovu captain Jabir Mutarambirwa and Innocent Habyarimana picked injures in the match against Gicumbi and both are not likely to feature for today’s match.

Forward Jack Twisenge is also out with an ankle injury after colliding with goalkeeper Jean Paul Mutabazi during Wednesday’s training.

Ssimbwa said, “One win and a draw is a bad start for us, especially given the fact that I have just come in and the new players too need time to settle, so I am quite happy with our  four points from two matches, but the injuries are a big concern at this stage.”

Meanwhile, Police have appointed Issa Ngeze as the club’s team manager.

Ngeze worked with current Police FC boss Louis Twahirwa Dodo as they helped Atraco win the national football league, reached the first round of the Orange Champions League and won the Cecafa/Kagame Cup in 2009 held in Khartoum, Sudan.

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