Mashami eyes quarter-final spot

APR FC assistant coach Vincent Mashami has urged his players to stay focused as they seek to book their place in the Cecafa Kagame Cup quarter-finals sooner rather than later.
APR winger Jean Claude Iranzi (R), tries to go past an Atletico de Burundi defender during the first game in Group B on Saturday, which the Rwandan side won 1-0. T. Kisambira
APR winger Jean Claude Iranzi (R), tries to go past an Atletico de Burundi defender during the first game in Group B on Saturday, which the Rwandan side won 1-0. T. Kisambira

Today

APR vs Telecom 3pm

KCCA vs Atletico   5pm

Yesterday

KMKM 1-1 Adama City

Azam 2-2 Atlabara

APR FC assistant coach Vincent Mashami has urged his players to stay focused as they seek to book their place in the Cecafa Kagame Cup quarter-finals sooner rather than later.

The national football league champions return to action this afternoon against Dijbout’s Telecom, with either side looking for a win to guarantee them a place in the last eight.

It will be the second match in Group B for both teams, who have three points each, but Telecom are ahead of APR on the table, thanks to a better goal difference. The Djiboutian side shocked KCCA of Uganda 2-1 on Sunday.

Atletico of Burundi also have three points as do KCCA, while Kenya’s Gor Mahia are bottom of the table without a point. But the three have played two matches each.

APR beat Atletico 1-0 in their first match and now Mashami, who is taking charge of team despite the head Ljubomir Petrovic sitting on the technical bench, wants his players to book their place in the knockout phase at the earliest opportunity.

In their first game, the army side needed a stoppage time winner through their inspirational captain Ismael ‘Kodo’ Nshutiyamagara against the Burundian opponents.

“In the first match, we created many chances but without scoring goals, we will continue to work on the striking department and look for goals against Telecom,” Mashami said.

The former Isonga FC coach added: “We need to stay calm and focused in the next game, we need to win it because the sooner we qualify for the quarterfinals the better for us because we will avoid pressure that comes with seeking qualification in the last group game.”

APR, who have won the tournament three times – in 2004, 2007 and 2010, all on home soil – will meet Gor Mahia on Friday before finishing the group matches against KCCA on Sunday.

Police FC became the first of the three Rwandan teams taking part in the competition to book a place in the last eight following a 3-1 victory over holders Vital’O in Group C on Monday.

Rayon Sports are the other local team in the annual competition.