APR vs Mukura 6pm
Sunrise vs Marines 3:30pm
Bugesera vs Espoir
SC Kiyovu vs Gicumbi
Pepiniere vs Kirehe 3:30pm
Etincelles vs Musanze
Amagaju vs Police
Rayon Sports vs AS Kigali
Mukura Victory Sports will be hoping to return to winning ways when they take on APR FC in the national football league this evening at Kigali Regional Stadium.
The Huye-based side started the season defeating newly promoted Pepineire FC 2-1 but were stunned at home in their second game, against Rubavu-based Etincelles FC, losing 1-0, thanks to Ismael’s Gikamba’s strike.
However, ahead of their showdown with the defending champions, Mukura captain Andre Mazimpaka is confident that the encounter gives them a good opportunity to bounce back and send a clear message to their league opponents.
“It was a very disappointing result against Etincelles, moreover at home, therefore, we need to make sure we get a good result on Friday against the champions, we can’t afford to lose two games in a row,” Mazimpaka told Times Sport.
He further pointed out; “APR are a strong team but we are also a good team, and in any case we have a pretty good record against them, which we shall try to take advantage of.”
On the other hand, Yves Rwasamanzi’s APR will also be hoping to return to winning ways after they were held to a 1-all draw by Gicumbi FC last weekend.
“We need to bounce back, there were a lot of positives we took from the Gicumbi game and we expect to put up a better performance in our next game although we know that Mukura will be a tougher opponent,” said Rwasamanzi.
APR, seeking a record-extending 17th league title, are fourth on the league standings with four points, while Mukura VS, who finished third last season, are ninth in the 16-team table standings with three points, with two games played so far.
Last season, Mukura shocked APR 2-0 win in the first round at Mumena stadium before losing 2-1 to the army side in the second round at Huye stadium.
Meanwhile, Mukura head coach Godfroid Okoko has conceded that a top three finish will be tougher to get this season.
“This season is going to be tougher, there will be too much pressure since all the teams have prepared well but the good thing is that it is still early (to make the necessary adjustments),” said the Burundian tactician.
He added, “But, of course, our objective remains the same as was last season, we want to win the title or at least as high as possible, even as other top teams like Rayon Sports, APR and Police have set similar targets.”
Okoko said they were looking forward to a good campaign despite losing some of their best players during the transfer window.
“It’s going to be a long stretch, we lost some good players but the bond and spirit are still the same, we have also made sure we’ve two players for every position to be on a safer side,” he explained.
Rayon face AS Kigali
The league will continue on Saturday when second-placed Sunrise FC (six points) take on Marines, who have collected just one point in two matches. The game will be played at Kicukiro Stadium.
Sunrise beat AS Kigali and Kirehe 1-0 each in their opening two matches.
Marines drew goalless with Espoir in the opening game before suffering a 3-0 defeat to AS Kigali on match-day two.
Vincent Mashami’s Bugesera FC, who stunned SC Kiyovu with a 3-0 victory on the opening day before losing 2-1 against Police, will host Espoir FC at Nyamata ground, whereas SC Kiyovu will entertain Gicumbi at Mumena stadium.
On Sunday, it will be a battle between newly promoted sides when second-from-bottom side Pepiniere, who are without a point, take on seventh-placed Kirehe FC at Ruyenzi ground.
Early season leaders Etincelles will host Musanze, in eighth place, at Umuganda stadium in Rubavu, while Police FC, in 11th place, will be up against bottom side Amagaju FC at Huye stadium.
However, the game of the weekend will pit third-placed Rayon Sports against Eric Nshimiyimana’s AS Kigali in fifth place, at Kigali Regional Stadium.