Preliminary round, 1st leg
APR vs Vital’O
AS Vita (DRC) vs Dynamic Lome (Tog)
Jamhuri (Zan) vs St George (Eth)
St Michel (Sey) vs Tusker (Ken)
Simba (Tan) vs Recreativo Libolo (Ang)
Coton Sport (Cam) vs URA (Uga)
RWANDAN Primus League champions APR FC go into their preliminary round first leg of the CAF Champions League clash with Vital’ O of Burundi on Saturday at Amahoro stadium seeking a high scoring win.
Head coach Eric Nshimiyimana has lined up an attacking team with instructions to get an early goal, which he believes would not only settle the nerves of his players but also set the tone for their campaign.
“We are playing the first leg at home, which means the onus is on us to win. How we win will depend on the team I put out, but if you asked me, I’d say our mission is to go for a good win ahead of the second leg,” the former APR and Amavubi Stars player told Saturday Sport yesterday.
He added, “It is vital that we win on Saturday by a comfortable margin but we know it won’t be easy against a very good Vital’O side that loves to play attacking football.”
“Looking at my team and the determination from the players, I think we are capable of getting a good result. However, we need to get early goals to settle the nerves,” added Nshimiyimana, who is in his first season as APR coach.
The military side will miss striker Farouk Ruhinda with a knee injury, while defender Ismail Nshutiyamagara, who limped off the mid-week’s clash against Musanze, is also a major doubt.
Nshimiyimana’s counterpart, Yaounde Kanyankole of Vita’O, said his Burundian champions are well prepared and ready to surprise APR infront of their own supporters, who are expected to turn up in big numbers.
“I have the same squad which was here last year; we do respect APR FC because they are a top team with lots of experience playing in this competition.
“They may have many young players in their squad but they (players) are good enough to cause us problems, so we must be very careful. A draw will give us a slight advantage but we are going into the match to win,” said the former Rayon Sport and Amavubi Stars coach.
Both sides have made several appearances in the continental competition but without reaching further than the third round. The Burundian champions will be making their eighth appearance while APR will be making their eleventh.
In December, both sides met in an RPF Jubilee tournament and the military side emerged the victor with a 2-0 win.
Last year, under Dutch coach Ernie Brandts, APR managed to reach the first round of the competition but fell to Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel 3-2 on goals aggregate.
In the preliminary round, APR eliminated Kenya’s Tusker 1- 0 over the two legs. The two teams played out a barren draw in Nairobi before the military side won the second leg 1-0 in Kigali.
In the event of qualification to the next round, the winners will come up against Rangers of Nigeria or SC Do Principe of Sao Tome and Principe.
APR coach wants early goals against Vital’ O
Preliminary round, 1st leg