As title rivals Atraco, APR clash
Atraco v APR
Kiyovu v Amagaju
AS Kigali v Marines
Rwanda’s representatives on the continent next year, Atraco and APR face-off in the peak of today’s five national football league fixtures at Amahoro stadium.
Atraco and APR both have grand designs on establishing themselves among the African elite this season but something will have to give way when they go head to head in their first domestic season fixture this afternoon.
Today’s fixture is one kind of game where the military outfit will be thoroughly tested and will need their experienced players to perform to their very best if they are to register a win over their closest title challengers.
In fact, of the five league engagements today, none will generate as much passion and interest as the big one at Amahoro.
The concealed truth is that the recent clashes between the two clubs have never been short on goals and drama.
Atraco faithful are undoubtedly spinning high on confidence now following five successive wins and one defeat since the start of the league a month ago.
Their match-winning elegance in the games against Kiyovu (4-0), Jeunesse (6-1), and Police (2-0), Electrogaz (2-1) and Amagaju (4-0) and a shock 1-0 loss to Kibuye suggests their troubles are behind them.
Coach Sam Timbe has done commendable work at Atraco since joining in before the start of this season. He has handled his team’s groundwork with tact and there is a general feeling of goodwill among them.
If Atraco succeeds in claiming the scalp of APR, then one of the main reasons for the giant leap forward will largely be a success in making his squad content.
Atraco will build their attacking play on the leading league goal scorer Jean Lomami and Hamis Kitagenda while Peter Kagabo is out of action with a thigh injury.
While the taxi-men side could be reveling over their flattering statistics, they ought to be reminded that the enemy for them, APR, possesses all the hallmarks of a potential party spoiler.
However, APR goes into today’s fixture without the injured pair of Moses Odhiambo (knee) and Bokota Labama (ankle) and suspended Patrick Mafisango.
“We need to beat Atraco to keeps our title hopes, and put pressure on them (Atraco) while any slip up could jeopardize our hopes especially with the level of competition being so high so far this season,” admitted APR’s Dutch coach Rene Feller.
The record nine-time league champions are the only unbeaten side this season along with Rayon Sports, but go into today’s crunch tie in second place, one point behind the leaders, Atraco. Feller’s side have won four and drawn two.
Club P W D L Pts
Atraco 6 5 0 1 15
APR 6 4 2 0 14
Rayon 6 2 4 0 10
Marines 6 3 1 2 10
Mukura 6 2 3 1 9
Police 6 2 3 1 9
Kibuye 6 2 2 2 8
Electrogaz 6 2 1 3 7
AS Kigali 6 2 1 3 7
Amagaju 6 1 1 4 4
Kiyovu 6 0 2 4 2
Jeunesse 6 0 2 4 2
NB: The results from yesterday’s game between Rayon Sports and Jeunesse were not yet known by press time.