APR football club have showed potential to compete with the best teams on the continent after beating the African champions TP Mazembe a fortnight ago.
Rwanda’s reigning league champions got into this weekend’s return leg with high confidence following not only the result but then performance from the first leg in Kigali.
A late stunner from right back Albert Ngaboyisibo came after the army side had shown a series of hard work and wasted a couple of very good scoring opportunities.
The result means that the Lubumbashi based club will have to double their efforts to overturn the first leg result in Kigali. APR has been in-form this season and has displayed some admirable football.
The club is still on the summit of the national football league and with two games in hand, against struggling Southern Province outfits of Mukura and Amagaju.
This good run in the national football league has given them chance to fully concentrate on the TP Mazembe return leg clash. The club is in a good shape, looks well organized.
APR Dutch coach Erik Paske was tactically well organized in the first leg with good displays from Abbas Rassou (until he got injured), Kabange Twite, Patrick Mafisango among others.
The ten-time national league champions did a magnificent job to stop highly prized talismanic Congolese star Tresor Mputu Mabi.
However, the TP Mazembe skipper, who failed to have a good first leg impact, will be one of the key players to watch in the return leg. Mputu is one of the dependable players in the Congolese side that will be playing in front of their fans.
None the less, APR still have a good chance to stun the champions as the Rwandan side has proved in the past they don’t have a fear going for results away from home.
Some hardcore fans even claim that they team plays better away from home in Continental competitions.
Last year, APR trounced Kenya’s Gor Mahia 5-0 away in Nairobi and drew 1-1 in Kigali and again this year, after a 2-2 home draw in the first leg against Angola’s Recreativo de Libolo, every counted them out of the competition but they went on to defy odds by winning 1-0 in Angola, a result that set up a meeting with TP Mazembe in the second round.
During last year’s semi-final CAF champions’ league encounter, TP Mazembe managed to down the likes of Al Hilal after going down at their home soil by 0-2 goals and went a head to wallop the giant Sudanese club by 2-5 goals in Khartoum.