Ntagwabira, Feller predict wins
APR v Atraco, 3:30pm
Third and fourth place play-off
Kiyovu v Rayon Sport, 1:15pm
These days, the peak of Rwandan club football doesn’t get any higher than the meeting between APR and Atraco, which makes today’s MTN-Peace Cup final an exciting contest.
Today’s match has so much at stake for either side even though, the APR camp would suggest that they deserve it more than anyone else.
Firstly, it’s the second biggest football competition locally after the national league, secondly, it’s organized to commemorate the national Liberation Day, which falls every July 4 and thirdly but most importantly, the winner today, has a chance to win a double this season.
The two sides are separated by four points at the top of the league table standing (Atraco first, APR second) with four rounds of matches remaining.
Another factor that gives either coach more hunger to win today’s finale is the fact that it’s a fitting occasion for any of them to win their first silverware for the clubs.
As for who needs it more than the other, many will say Jean-Marie Ntagwabira (Atraco) because of his connection to the liberation struggle but other would suggest that if Rene Feller (APR) wins it; he’d have deserved it after just about five months in charge.
It’s no surprise that the two men will have their eyes on the top prize when they lead their teams out this afternoon at Nyamirambo stadium.
Ntagwabira, having tasted unprecedented success with APR both a player and later coach, would love to one over his former employers with whom he parted company unceremoniously after guiding them to a double in 2006.
And true as he told Times Sport yesterday, “A final of a cup competition is difficult to predict. Very small details like luck determine the destiny of the match. The team with the best wins.”
“But we’re confident about chances of beating APR to the title. We know they’re a good side but we’re a better team, so I believe with God’s help, we shall win,” noted Ntagwabira.
However, his opposite number, Feller has other ideas of his own, “In football, the hardest thing to do is to make prediction but we can win tomorrow’s (today) final.”
“We’ve trained all this week and the total group is all fine, fit and raring to go,” noted the 65-year-old Dutch coach before adding that, “Our plan is to attack from the start, play good football and on the ground.”
The veteran tactician will be boosted by the fact that, like his counterpart, he goes into the game with a fully fit squad after defender Boubakary Sadou shrugged off a strained leg muscle while playing for Amavubi Stars against Ethiopia.
The only player missing for the military side will be defender Fredrick Onyango who sustained head injuries in the semi-final against Kiyovu while Atraco’s Michael Sebalinga returns to the team after missing the semi-final with a shin injury.
This year’s championship is sponsored Mobile Telecommunication providers MTN Rwandacel to a tune of Frw20 million.
APR — A. Ndizeye, K. Nizigiyimana, E. Ntaganda, A. Gaseruka, B. Sadou, M. Twite, Moses Odyambo, J. Mugiraneza, H. Niyonzima, K. Twite, E. Uzamukunda.
Atraco — E. Bakame, G. Katerega, Amuroso, I. Nshutinamagara, T. Ssemwogere, J. Shyaka, H. Kitagenda, P. Mafisango, P. Kagabo, A. Mulenda, M. Sebalinga.
1995 APR Fc
1997 Rwanda Fc
2001 Les Citadins (now AS-Kigali)
2004 Not held