Karekezi inspires APR Returning striker makes mark on debut

Primus CupYesterdayEtincelles  1-3  La JeunesseAPR   4-0  Marines Semi-finals (Saturday)APR   vs  PoliceAS Kigali  vs  La Jeunesse Olivier Karekezi yesterday wasted no time to make an instant impact in his first match on return to APR for a second spell, scoring a brace in APR’s 4-0 win over Marines yesterday at Kigali regional stadium, Nyamirambo.
Olivier Karekezi (left) made an instant impact on his return to APR, notching a brace as the military side beat Marines 4-0 in a Primus Cup clash yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
Olivier Karekezi (left) made an instant impact on his return to APR, notching a brace as the military side beat Marines 4-0 in a Primus Cup clash yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

Primus Cup
Yesterday
Etincelles  1-3  La Jeunesse
APR   4-0  Marines
Semi-finals (Saturday)
APR   vs  Police
AS Kigali  vs  La Jeunesse

Olivier Karekezi yesterday wasted no time to make an instant impact in his first match on return to APR for a second spell, scoring a brace in APR’s 4-0 win over Marines yesterday at Kigali regional stadium, Nyamirambo.

The 28-year old was handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Mbuyu Twite and immediately showed APR fans what they should expect from him after spending the last seven years playing in Europe.

The former Amavubi Stars captain opened the scoring as early the 11th minutes with a stunning free kick.

The other wew recruit Dan Wagaluka was also in top form and showed that he can comfortably replace departed Haruna Niyonzima after neatly crossing for Kipson Atuheire, who scored the second eight minutes later.

The first half ended with APR leading 2-1, though they might have gone into the break with a healthier lead given their dominance against a club many fans regard as the military side’s sister club since both a backed by the Rwanda defence forces.

APR continued the second from where they had left the first after Karekezi’s long shot ended in the Marines net to make it 3-0.

The Rwandan international neat touches and tricks had the APR faithful on their toes cheering him and the team on throughout the match.

Ally Ponjo, a new defender for the military side scored the fourth goal, 10 minutes from time to set up a semi-final clash with Police, who defeated Rayon Sports 4-2 on penalties on Wednesday. The two sides had drawn 1-1 after the normal time.

APR’s Dutch coach Ernie Brandts praised his side’s 4-0 win despite training for just three days and also hinted at making Karekezi the team’s new permanent captain.

“All the players did a magnificent job. The fitness levels are good despite the fact that we only trained for just a few days.

“Mbuyu is still captain of the team but Karekezi understands English and he passed on all information that I was giving to players well. So that is my decision to make about the captaincy,” Brandts said.

In the earlier match, APR Jeunesse thrashed Etincelles 3-1. Hilderbrand Nshuti, Idrissa Manirafasha and Nice Ruzige scored for the Nyamirambo side while Yakubo Kasongo pulled one back for the Rubavu side.

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