Etincelles regain winning form to survive relegation

After winning three consecutive matches in the National Football League to move six points clear of the relegation zone, Etincelles FC coach has said his team can now only look ahead to finish in a safe position.
Etincelles' coach  Innocent Seninga (C) with some of his players after beating APR last week. (P. Kamasa)
Etincelles' coach Innocent Seninga (C) with some of his players after beating APR last week. (P. Kamasa)

Wednesday

Gicumbi FC 0-0 AS Kigali
Bugesera FC 0-1 APR FC
Etincelles FC 2-1 Sunrise FC
Mukura VS 0-1 Rayon Sports
AS Muhanga 0-2 Marines FC
SC Kiyovu 3-1 Musanze FC
Espoir FC 0-0 Amagaju FC
Police FC 0-0 Rwamagana FC

 

After winning three consecutive matches in the National Football League to move six points clear of the relegation zone, Etincelles FC coach has said his team can now only look ahead to finish in a safe position.

 

Innocent Seninga’s team beat Sunrise FC 2-1 on Wednesday to notch their third win in a row following victories over Rwamagana last weekend and reigning league champions APR FC two weeks ago.

 

This is a huge leap forward compared to the first round where the Rubavu-based side managed just a solitary win, and seemed destined for relegation to the second division, along with AS Muhanga. But the team have since shrugged off this threat by winning all their three games in the second round to move to relative comfort in 13th place with 17 points and a game in hand against Rayon Sports, which was postponed last week to allow the Rwanda U20 team travel to Uganda for the CAF U20 Championship first round qualifiers, which the Junior Wasps lost 2-1 to exit 3-2 on aggregate, following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Seninga took over in February from Ugandan Ibrahim Kizito, who was shown the exit following the club’s poor performance in the first round.

“It was tough for us in the first round, but we kept our faith and worked hard so that we can remain in first division. We lost too many games before I came here, but after wining our last three, now we can look to the next match with a lot of confidence,” Seninga said after Wednesday’s win.

“Teams thought they would easily take three points off us, but that’s a different story now, we are a better side and we have showed in the last three matches that we can beat anyone. We want to be the Leicester City of Rwanda in the second round,” the former Isonga FC coach noted jokingly.

Etincelles prepared for the second round by signing several experienced players including former Mukura midfielder Hussein Habimana and former Rayon Sports, SC Kiyovu and Marines striker Salita Gentil Kambale.

Others are; Patrick Musombwa and Fiston Shaui as well as former AS Kigali and Rayon Sports striker Bodo Ndikumana.

APR remain top

Meanwhile, midfielder Patrick Sibomana scored the lone goal in the 54th minute as the reigning champions APR FC defeated Bugesera FC 1-0 at Nyamata ground in Bugesera District to retain the top spot.

APR lead the table with 43 points, four ahead of second-placed Rayon Sports, who beat Mukura Victory Sports 1-0 at Huye Stadium. Ugandan striker Davis Kasirye netted the goal in the 65th minute to keep pressure on Nazir Khanfir’s side.

Police FC continued to drop points after drawing against struggling Rwamagana City. Andre Casa Mbungo’s team remains in 5th place with 32 points while AS Kigali are 6th with 31 points after losing 1-0 to Gicumbi FC.

Emmanuel Ruremesha’s Gicumbi stays in 7th place with 27 points.

At Mumena stadium, Abdul Kalim Gashugi, Fitina Ombalenga and Andre Lomami scored for resurgent SC Kiyovu, who walloped Musanze FC 3-1 to leapfrog Mukura in third position with 35 points. Godfroid Okoko’s Mukura dropped to 4th on goal difference.

Top scorers

Andre Lomami SC Kiyovu 11
Muhadjili Hakizimana Mukura 9
Davis Kasirye Rayon Sports 9
Isaie Songa Police FC 8
Dany Usengimana Police FC 8
Ernest Sugira AS Kigali 7

League table

Team PD W D L Pts

APR FC 19 13 4 2 43
Rayon Sports 18 11 6 1 39
SC Kiyovu 19 10 5 4 35
Mukura 19 11 2 6 35
Police FC 19 8 8 3 32
AS Kigali 19 8 7 4 31
Gicumbi 19 6 9 4 27
Sunrise Fc 19 6 6 7 24
Bugesera 19 6 6 7 24
Marines 19 5 7 7 22
Espoir 19 4 8 7 20
Amagaju 19 4 8 7 20
Etincelles 18 4 5 9 17
Musanze 19 4 4 11 16
Rwamagana 19 2 5 12 11
Muhanga 19 2 5 12 11
editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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