Nshimiyimana insists APR still in title race

Primus National Football League champions APR host Espoir today at Stade de Kigali, Nyamirambo looking to get back to winning ways after last week’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of their archrivals Rayon Sport.
APR’s midfielder Andrew Buteera (L), and Rayon Sport’s Djamal Mwiseneza during last Saturday’s game. The New Times; T. Kisambira.
APR’s midfielder Andrew Buteera (L), and Rayon Sport’s Djamal Mwiseneza during last Saturday’s game. The New Times; T. Kisambira.

Today
APR vs Espoir 3:30pm

Primus National
Football League champions APR host Espoir today at Stade de Kigali, Nyamirambo looking to get back to winning ways after last week’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of their archrivals Rayon Sport.

The loss leaves the 13-time league champions nine points behind the leaders, Rayon, in the title race. But head coach Eric Nshimiyimana believes his team still has a chance to defend their title with seven games remaining.

The former APR and Amavubi Stars towering midfielder, who has been put in the spotlight by last result, admits that last Saturday was a “black day” for the army side, but he still has hopes of winning the league in his first season as the team coach.

“No one will forget that result, we are still hurt, but it’s now in the past, we need to focus on the next game against Espoir, which won’t be easy,” he told Times Sport on Tuesday.

He added, “The players haven’t got over that defeat yet it’s my role as coach to lift their spirits, unfortunately we don’t have too much time to recover, we are still focused on the league title.”

“We have seven games to go, and if we win all our games, we have a chance depending on what happens elsewhere. I am not going to give up on the title, nothing has been won yet,” he noted, despite his team lying nine points adrift of Rayon and another eight behind second-placed Police FC.

APR are in third position, courtesy of their superior goal difference but are level on 32 points with fifth-placed Mukura Victory Sport.

Last week’s defeat to Rayon was not only their first loss with such a huge margin in  local football but also the first time they had lost two league matches in a row in recent history, having been beaten 1-0 by Mukura the previous week.

Nshimiyimana added, “We have been doing well since the start of the season, but in last two matches we failed to get even one point, but I am confident we can turn things around.”

After today, APR still have to play Amagaju, SC Kiyovu, AS Kigali, Isonga, La Jeunesse, and Etincelles.

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