AS Kigali title chances are slim - Nshimiyimana

Wednesday Gicumbi vs APR Rayon Sports vs Sunrise Marines vs Etincelles AS Kigali saw their hopes of winning a first league title in the club’s history dealt a major blow after losing 1-0 against Rayon Sports on Sunday at Muhanga stadium, according to head coach Eric Nshimiyimana.
Eric Nshimiyimana.
Eric Nshimiyimana.

Wednesday

Gicumbi vs APR
Rayon Sports vs Sunrise
Marines vs Etincelles

Sunday

APR 2-0 Amagaju
Rayon Sports 1-0 AS Kigali

Saturday

Police 1-0 Musanze
Mukura 1-1 Isonga
Kiyovu 1-0 Gicumbi
Sunrise 1-0 Espoir

AS Kigali saw their hopes of winning a first league title in the club’s history dealt a major blow after losing 1-0 against Rayon Sports on Sunday at Muhanga stadium, according to head coach Eric Nshimiyimana.

Defeat means the City of Kigali-sponsored AS Kigali blew their chance of keeping pressure on the league leaders and defending champions, APR, who won 2-0 against Amagaju FC also in Sunday to stay three points ahead albeit with a game in hand.

AS Kigali remain on second position with 44 points in 23 matches, while Rayon Sports jumped one place to fourth on 33 points, level with Amagaju, who slipped to fifth.

Last season, AS Kigali and Rayon Sports played 1-all draw in the second round, which cost the Nyanza-based side to lose the title and also AS Kigali won this season’s corresponding fixture 2-1. Revenge for Rayon Sports came on the 80th minute when striker Isaac Muganza came off the bench to replace defender Faustin Usengimana to head home Djihad Bizimana’s well-taken freekick past Ugandan-born goalkeeper Batte Shamiru.

“Honestly, our chances of winning the league are now slimmer than before. We wanted to win this game and we didn’t, but it is the part of football. We missed a lot of chances and Rayon Sports had one chance and scored the goal,” Nshimiyimana told Times Sport after his fifth defeat of the season. The former APR midfielder added, “We still have three games to go and we will try to win all and then see where we will finish.”

The win for Rayon Sports was the second in the league since Jean Baptiste Kayiranga took over as head coach last month—it follows the 4-0 success over Etincelles.

Kayinga said, “It was a hard game for us but we thank God for this win. The players wanted to win because they lost title last season and it was revenge for them, AS Kigali are a good team and they deserve to be in the position they are in today.”

Police appear to have cemented third place with a 1-0 win over Musanze on Saturday courtesy of a brilliant strike from Ildesbard Nshuti, which moved Andre Cassa Mbungo’s team to 39 points, six points better than Rayon.

APR with 47 points, have a game in hand against Gicumbi which will be played on Wednesday in Gicumbi. The military side needs two more wins and a draw in their remaining 4 games to win a record-extending 15th league title in 20 years.

League table

Team                      PD    W    D    L    Pts

APR                        22    14    5     3     47
AS Kigali                 23    13    5     5     44
Police                     23     10    9     4    39
Rayon Sports         22      9     9     4    33
Gicumbi                  22      8     9     5    33
SC Kiyovu              23      8      8    7     32
Sunrise                  22      7      9     7    30
Amagaju                 23     8      7     8    30
Espoir                     23     8      5    10   29
Marines                   22     6     7     9     25
Mukura                   23      5     9     9     24
Musanze                 23      5     6    12    21
Etincelles                22      3     8    11   17
Isonga                    23      1     9    13   14

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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