Rayon Sports 2-0 SC Kiyovu
Musanze 1-1 Bugesera
AS Kigali 2-0 Miroplast
Espoir 1-1 Etincelles
APR FC 1-1 Marines
Sunrise 1-0 Gicumbi
Amagaju 2-0 Kirehe
Mukura 1-2 Police FC
Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi has admitted that “very few” teams will beat SC Kiyovu in the Azam Rwanda Premier League this season.
Karekezi made the admission after the defending champions struggled to break down the youthful Kiyovu side on Sunday in a league match which they won 2-0 with second half goals at Kigali Stadium.
After an evenly balanced first half which ended goalless, the defending champions took the lead through former APR defender Faustin Usengimana in the 52nd minute after a wonderful cross from Djaber Manishimwe on the right wing.
Kiyovu’s resistance faded as Rayon Sports stepped up their game with the likes of Pierrot Kwizera, Manishimwe and Yannich Mukunzi dominating the midfield.
Their dominance resulted in the second goal when Burundian international forward Shassir Nahimana put the game beyond Kiyovu’s reach with an acrobatic kick strike goal in the 86th minute again off an assist from Manishimwe, who was Rayon Sports’ best player on the day.
“We didn’t play well in the first half and I have to admit Kiyovu were slightly better but we played better in second half and managed to get three points, which is very important for us,” Karekezi admitted during the post-match press conference.
The former APR and Amavubi skipper added, “My players did what was necessary in the game. It will be tough for other teams to beat Kiyovu (in the league) this season. I am telling you, it will be hard to get a point from them.”
Defeat also brought back bad memories for SC Kiyovu fans whose team lost 2-1 against Rayon Sports in the final game of last season that sent their team to the second division, for only to return to top division following promoted Isonga FC’s withdrawal from playing in the topflight.
Coach Andre Casa Mbungo’s youthful Kiyovu dominated possession in the first half but Oliver Karekezi’s star-studded champions defended so well before stepping up a gear in the second period.
“These are three important points for us. It was a hard game, but I am happy we have managed to get what I think is a deserved win, we didn’t start well but later we started to dominated them and we got chance to score goals,” noted Karekezi.
The champions moved up to fifth place in the table with four points, two behind early season pace setters Amagaju FC, while SC Kiyovu remain in 11th position with three points having won the season opener 1-0 against Musanze FC a fortnight ago.
Mbungo’s team exhibited some eye-catching football in the first 45 minutes and should have taken the lead but could not utilize some of the clear cut chances they created for Francis Moustapha, Fabrice Kakule Mugheni and Djuma Nizeyimana.
“Rayon Sports used their chances well, which is why they have won, in the first half we had four clear chances but we failed to convert any of them, we have got to work on our finishing. Defensively, my players did not stand well for the first goal but for the second goal was hard to defend,” Mbungo said.
Musanze FC defeated Bugesera FC 1-0 at Ubworoheranire ground in Musanze thanks to Wai Yeka’s effort in the 83rd minute to move to 9th in the table with three points, while Ali Bizimungu’s Bugesera remain one of three teams without a point, along with Miloplast and bottom side Kirehe FC.
Amagaju maintain perfect start
They may not be among the teams expected to challenge for the title but Amagaju FC remain the only team with a perfect record after two rounds of matches.
Pablo Nduwimana’s early season pace setters followed their opening day 3-1 victory against Bugesera FC with a 2-0 win against Kirehe at Nyagisenyi ground on Saturday, thanks to goals from Amani Mugisho and Tresor Ndikumana in the 34th and 89th minutes respectively.
Etincelles managed a 1-all draw away to Espoir to move to second place ahead of APR FC, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Marines at Umuganda Stadium. Arafat Bahame scored for the home side before Djihad Bizimana equalised for Jimmy Mulisa’s side..