Karekezi eyes Heroes Cup glory after Police FC rout

Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi is aiming to win this year’s Heroes Cup title after guiding the Azam Rwanda Premier League champions to a comfortable 4-0 win over Police FC at Amahoro National Stadium on Saturday.
Malian striker Ismaila Diarra (centre), who netted a first half hat trick in the 20th, 40th and 45th minutes, celebrates with teammates. Courtesy.
Malian striker Ismaila Diarra (centre), who netted a first half hat trick in the 20th, 40th and 45th minutes, celebrates with teammates. Courtesy.

Matchday 2
Saturday
APR FC 2-2 AS Kigali
Rayon Sports 4-0 Police FC

Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi is aiming to win this year’s Heroes Cup title after guiding the Azam Rwanda Premier League champions to a comfortable 4-0 win over Police FC at Amahoro National Stadium on Saturday.

Malian forward Ismaila Diarra netted a first-half hat trick in the 20th, 40th and 45th minutes before the blues captain of the day, Pierrot Kwizera, completed the rout in the 75th minute.

Karekezi said he was happy with the big win over a team that beat APR FC the previous weekend, adding that their attention had immediately turned to their final game against archrivals APR on Thursday.

“It is great to score many goals but we still have to play APR,” said the APR legend, who’s apparently having a good time at his former club’s nemesis, Rayon.

Karekezi added: “We have had a good game today, everyone was determined to perform to his best and bring our confidence back, especially after the draw in the first match (against AS Kigali).”

The former Amavubi star praised his players whom he said had given everything in the game. “Still, I am confident we can do much better. We have to keep working hard, we have potential to improve further.”

Rayon Sports could have scored even more goals through several players, including new signings Hussein ‘Tchabalala’ Shaban and Yassin Mugume but both failed to hit the target, while Diarra and Eric Irambona also squandered good opportunities in the second period.

Police FC head coach Innocent Seninga admitted that tactical errors cost his team. “Rayon Sports were playing an offensive game and my players decided to stay deep in their own half and wait for them, which has cost us today. We needed more creativity, but instead we did the opposite.”

“We are very disappointed but we have to move on and try to bounce back in the next game against AS Kigali. I am looking forward to the next match because we want to win this trophy,” he noted.

AS Kigali 2-2 APR

Meanwhile, in the earlier fixture, Jimmy Mulisa’s APR FC twice came from behind to force a 2-2 draw against Eric Nshimiyimana’s AS Kigali.

Jean Ndarusanze put AS Kigali ahead in the 32nd minute from the spot after APR defender Aimable Nsabimana brought him down in the area.

However, one minute after replacing Fiston Nkezingabo, forward Issa Bigirimana equalised for APR in the 35th minute with a beautiful header off Maxime Sekamana’s cross.

Fuadi Ndayisenga, who was named man of the match, drew a fine save from APR goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure with a long range shot before he hit the back of the net from free kick in the 56th minute after Nsabimana had fouled Ndarusanze on the edge of the 18-yard box.

But second-half substitute Blaise Itangishaka, who came on for Eric Tuyishime, scored the equaliser for the military side in the 90+5 minute with a long range shot.

After match day 2, Rayon Sports lead the four-team tournament with four points, while Police FC dropped to second place with three points. AS Kigali are in third with two points while holders APR find themselves bottom with a solitary point.

The winner of the Heroes Cup tournament will get Rwf6m on top of the trophy and gold medals; the first runner-up will receive Rwf3m and silver medals; while the second runner-up will walk away with Rwf2m and bronze medals.  The fourth-placed team will take home Rwf1m.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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