In Rwandan club football, only Olivier Karekezi has been top scorer in the league more than once since the beginning of the new millennium. Finishing on top of the net busters’ chart is an achievement coveted by every striker anywhere in the world including our Turbo King Football League.
As an APR striker, Karekezi went down in history as one of Rwanda’s greatest football players, when he shared the golden boot with Abed Mulenda of Rayon Sports in 2004 with 14 goals before repeating the feat in the 2011/12 season with the same number of goals.
APR has dominated the top charts a total of six times since 2000, with players past and present, like Laurent Kyayuna, Karekezi, Jimmy Gatete and Andre Lomami, whereas Rayon Sports also had some of its strikers like Labama Bokota claiming the prestige. The highest tally by a top scorer since 2000 is 16 goals, scored last season by Amiss Cedric of Rayon Sports, while the lowest is nine goals by Kyeyune in 2001. These are clearly few goals by any league’s standards – but luckily, our goal hunger is steadily being quenched.
It’s only four games played so far and yet we have a player with five goals already. Wai Yeka’s scintillating form has seen his club, Musanze FC, rise to second in the league with three wins and a draw.
With such a quick foot, the DR Congo-born striker Yeka may perhaps have the opportunity to create history by reaching 20 goals this season.
APR which began the league with two comfortable wins, are now facing down the gun’s barrel. Their last two games ended in a loss and draw against AS Kigali and Police FC respectively.
Much as they looked deadly after destroying Marines by 6-2 in their opening, the army side must play catch up to Rayon Sports, Musanze and Espoir—though I don’t see the latter two’s early season impressive form lasting the distance.
This is where close competition from strikers comes in. It is now up to APR strikers to match the red hot form of strikers like Yeka, Samson Jakesh of Rayon or else, they will realize it too late when the title is already beyond their reach.
Four games are indeed nothing to lose sleep over for APR and their supporters given the club’s strength in squad depth, which is more than capable to turn round their season.
But the fight for the golden boot is already proving too exciting to ignore and unlike in the previous years where goals were lacking, they are flying in this time around, and we could finally see a striker scoring 20 goals in one season for the first time in Rwandan football.
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