As league reaches the halfway mark
Atraco vs Mukura (Regional)
AS Kigali vs Musanze (Kicukiro)
Electrogaz vs Etincelles (Ferwafa)
Marines vs Amagaju (Umuganda)
Police vs Kiyovu (Mumena)
APR v Rayon (Amahoro)
THE country’s football giants face uphill battles this weekend in the national league as they hunt for bragging rights of the league table as the first half of the season winds up.
APR and Etincelles are both tied on 23 points at the top of the table sanding albeit the former topping the table thanks to a superior goal difference, and Rayon Sport three points behind; it’ll be fascinating to see how the trio bargain their remaining fixtures.
Ten-time league champion APR and Rayon Sport renew their traditional hostility tomorrow afternoon when they meet at Amahoro stadium.
The champions APR are focused on retaining the title despite mounting pressure from Etincelles who have won seven times, drawn twice and lost once, the same record as the military side.
A win against their bitter rivals tomorrow will give APR the mid-season bragging rights yet anything less and Etincelles beat Electrogaz today will cost them the top spot.
Nonetheless, coach Erik Paske is confident his squad has enough in its armory to handle whatever the Blues throws at them.
“We must maintain the consistency that we’ve shown since the start of the season, avoid making silly mistakes, which would give Rayon Sport a chance to break through and score,” Paske said.
Paske will be boosted by the return of midfielder cum defender Patrick Mafisango who was sent off last weekend against Atraco but Kalisa Mao is yet to recover from a broken arm.
Rayon, six-time winners of the national league have been hungry for success for the past five seasons and their good form this season put them in contention for the first title since 2004.
The Blues have amassed 20 points in 10 league matches and they are placed third on the table standings, five points behind the leaders APR and Etincelles.
Head coach Jean Baptiste Kayiranga admits his troops must win Sunday’s derby to boost their chances of winning the league.
“The players are in good shape and focused on winning. We don’t have any major injuries to worry about and all that the players want is to put on a good performance against APR and possibly win,” Kayiranga said.
Striker Peter Kagabo and midfielder Abdul Uwimana sustained minor knocks in the midweek clash with Amagaju but should be fit to face APR.
Meanwhile, the taxi-men side takes on Mukura this afternoon at Nyamirambo stadium. After the midweek defeat to Etincelles, the Kagame Cup and Peace Cup holders dropped to fifth on the league table with 18 points while Mukura are ninth position with nine points.
Highflying Etincelles have to the chance to leapfrog APR at the top with a win over Electrogaz at Ferwafa ground. Bottom side AS Kigali plays Musanze at Kicukiro.
Amagaju travel relegation battling Marines for a crucial match to be played at Umuganda stadium.
Jean Marie Ntagwabira’s Kiyovu have a tricky tie against an in-form Police at Mumena stadium. Police is fourth on the league table with 18 points while their opponents lay sixth with 16 points.
1. Roger Tchouassi (Police) – 7 gls
2. Bogota Labama (APR) - 7 gls
3. Papy Gasana (Rayon Sport) – 6 gls
4. Peter Kagabo (Rayon Sport) – 4 gls
5. Idesbard Nshuti (Kiyovu) – 4 gls
6. Papy Kamanzi (Marines) - 4 gls
7. Victoire Manirakiza (Etincelles) - 4 gls
8. Jean Lomami (Atraco) - 3 gls
9. Abbas Rassou (APR) - 3 gls
Best attacking teams
APR -20 goals
Police -19 goals
Rayon Sport -16 goals
Etincelles – 15 goals
Atraco - 13 goals
1. Juma Niyonkuru (Electrogaz)
2. Egide Rutayisire (AS Kigali)
3. Mukamba Namasombwa (AS Kigali)
4. Khamiss Mwanaume (AS Kigali)
5. Clement Mutunzi (Police)
6. Aphrodis Mungwarareba (Police)
7. Ismail Habumugisha (Atraco)
8. Olivier Ndakize (Marines)
9. Mbanyi Ndayisenga (Musanze)
10. Tumaine Ntamuhanga (Amagaju)
PG W D L Pts
APR 10 7 2 1 23
Etincelles 10 7 2 1 23
Rayon 10 6 2 2 20
Police 10 5 3 2 18
Atraco 10 5 3 2 18
Kiyovu 10 5 1 4 16
Electrogaz 10 3 3 4 12
Amagaju 10 2 3 5 9
Mukura 10 3 0 7 9
Marines 10 2 1 7 7
Musanze 10 1 3 6 6
AS Kigali 10 1 3 6 6