Bizimana stars for APR in Anse Réunion rout

APR FC midfielder Djihad Bizimana grabbed a hat-trick as the Rwandan side put four past visitors Anse Réunion of Seychelles in their first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round yesterday.
Djihad Bizimana (c) celebrates with his teammates Rugue Byiringiro (#14) and Issa Bigirimana as APR thumped Anse Réunion in Kigali yesterday. Samuel Ngenadahimana.
Djihad Bizimana (c) celebrates with his teammates Rugue Byiringiro (#14) and Issa Bigirimana as APR thumped Anse Réunion in Kigali yesterday. Samuel Ngenadahimana.

Sunday

APR 4-0 Anse Réunion

APR FC midfielder Djihad Bizimana grabbed a hat-trick as the Rwandan side put four past visitors Anse Réunion of Seychelles in their first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round yesterday.

Bizimana, 21, netted in the 12th, 70th and 90th minutes while Isaa Bigirimana scored the other goal in the 78th minute, as the military side ensured a bright start to their continental campaign in front of their fans at Amahoro National Stadium.

Bizimana opened the scoring with a stunning goal from a Jean Baptiste Mugirane before half-time.

The Rwanda international then scored his second goal in the 70th minute with a powerful header thanks to Lague Byiringiro’s cross, with Issa Bigirimana netting a third with 12 minutes to go from Martin Fabrice Twagizimana’s assist.

Bizimana competed the rout with his third in the 90th minute off a Blaise Itangishaka assist.

The home side were the dominant team although and could have scored even more goals had Bigirimana, Mugiraneza, Maxime Sekamana, Innocent Nshuti, Mhadjiri Hakizimana, and Byiringiro not missed clear-cut opportunities.

Ricky Rose, 42, one of the oldest goalkeepers on the continent, was in goal for Anse Réunion.

The return leg scheduled on the weekend of February 21 and 22 in Seychelles.

The 16-time league champions did not go past the preliminary round of the Champions League last year, crashing out of the competition at the hands of Zambia’s seven-time league champions Zanaco FC.

Should APR progress from this round, they will face Djoliba of Mali who qualified for the nest stage without kicking a ball after Liberia’s Elwa United pulled out of the tournament at the last minute due to financial problems.

The last time APR scored four goals on the continent was in 2016 against Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland in the second leg of the preliminary round of CAF Champions League, when Rwanda international Abdul Rwatubyaye bagged a hat-trick.

Rwatubyaye has since joined APR domestic rivals Rayon Sports.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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