APR beat AS Vita to win Pre-season tourney

Rwandan national football league champions APR FC have won the inaugural AS Kigali Pre-season Tournament after defeating AS Vita Club 1-0 in the final played on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium.
APR FC players celebrate after beating AS Vita Club in the final to win the AS Kigali Pre-season Tournament on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium. / Sam Ngendahimana
APR FC players celebrate after beating AS Vita Club in the final to win the AS Kigali Pre-season Tournament on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium. / Sam Ngendahimana

Final
APR 1-0 AS Vita Club

Third place
Rayon Sports 3-0 SC Kiyovu

 

Rwandan national football league champions APR FC have won the inaugural AS Kigali Pre-season Tournament after defeating AS Vita Club 1-0 in the final played on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium.

 

New signing Onesme Twizerimana netted the lone goal of the match in the very last minute of extra time following a swift counter attack, which the former AS Kigali striker lashed on before curling the ball past AS Vita goalkeeper and sent the whole stadium into wild celebrations.

 

AS Vita Club started strongly and dominated the game in the early stages but did not cause APR goalie Emery Nvuyekure too many problems while APR looked very dangerous on counter attacks.

Just nine minutes into the match, Florent Ibenge’s team had the first chance to break the deadlock through their new signing Ernest Sugira, who saw his powerful shot fly over the cross bar.

After the early scare, APR came back into the game and started to take control of the midfield which resulted in their first chance on goal in the 19th minute when a cross from left-back Emmanuel Imanishimwe was headed wide off the post by Muhadjir Hakizimana.

APR continued to press forward in search for the opening goal and three minutes to half time, had a chance from a set piece after AS Vita center-back Francis Kobama fouled Hakizimana, however the chance went begging after the latter’s attempt went above the bar.

The second half was not entertaining as the first with both sides showing little in terms of creating clear scoring opportunities and the game went into the extra time.

Backed by their vocal fans, the military side piled more pressure on the Kinshasa-based side in the first half extra time, but failed to get beyond the AS Vita back line that was yet to concede a goal in this tournament.

The final 15 minutes belonged to Yves Rwasamanzi’s team, who by this time, had sensed AS Vita were beatable after all, which they took advantage of with more counter attacks.

These numerous count attacks paid off in the very last minute of the game when Twizerimana scored with his ‘magical’ right boot, taking a long range curling shot from outside the 18-yard box and into the bottom corner.

Meanwhile, in the third-place playoff, Rayon Sports hammered SC Kiyovu 3-0, thanks to Malian striker Moussa Camara’s brace in the 33rd and 40th before Burundian import Shassir Nahimana added the third goal in the 63rd minute.

On top of the trophy, APR FC walked away with a cash prize of Rwf5 million while AS Vita Club took Rwf3 million and Rayon Sports pocketed Rwf2 million.

The ten-day tournament that started on September 6, attracted eight clubs that includes organizers AS Kigali, SC Kiyovu, Rayon Sports, APR, Sunrise FC and Police FC from Rwanda plus AS Vita Club and Dauphins Noir from DR Congo.

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