Final: August 7
Pepiniere vs Kirehe
Kirehe FC 0-1 Etoile de l’est (Agg. 2-1)
Pepiniere 2-0 Interforce Fc (Agg. 2-0)
Kirehe and Pepiniere Football Clubs have been promoted to the topflight division for the first time in their history after wins in the playoffs semi-finals.
Pepiniere defeated Interforce FC 2-0 in the semi-final second leg at FERWAFA turf on Wednesday to reach the final with a 2-0 aggregate following a goalless draw in the first leg on Sunday while Kirehe, despite losing 1-0 at home in the second leg, progressed with 2-1 aggregate against Etoile de l’est.
Price Lombalonga was gifted with the opener for Pepiniere in the opening minute and four minutes later, Interforce were reduced to ten men when Abeddy Biramahire was sent off after receiving a second booking.
Patrick Hagenimana completed the job six minutes later when he converted a penalty as coach Jean Paul Umuhoza and his side celebrated promotion to the national league for the first time in the club history.
Speaking after the game, Umuhoza said, “We are so happy with the achievement, it’s unbelievable that we’re going to play in the first division next season. But we’ll be even happier to lift the title on Sunday.”
“I am glad we are promoted, and the secret to our success has been good preparation, both mentally and physically. For instance, the opponents were under pressure, which gave us an opportunity to capitalize on their mistakes,” he noted.
Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Etoile de l’est registered 1-0 victory against Kirehe in a game played at Ngoma District, but it wasn’t enough to see them through having lost the first leg 2-0.
The final will be played on Sunday at Kigali Regional Stadium. The two finalists will replace AS Muhanga and Rwamagana City, who were relegated to the second division.