APR go top again after Gicumbi win

Dominique Savio Nshuti, seen here in a past league match against Amagaju, scored the second goal during APR’s 3-1 win over Gicumbi on Thursday. / Sam Ngendahimana

AS Kigali vs AS Muhanga 15:30
Kirehe vs Mukura 15:30

Gicumbi 1-3 APR

APR have returned to the summit of the Azam Rwanda Premier League following their 3-1 away victory over Gicumbi on Thursday.

It was the army side’s first win this month after being held by SC Kiyovu and AS Kigali in their previous two fixtures.

Dany Usengimana opened the scoring just six minutes into the match with an easy finish unleashing a strong free-kick from Michael Rusheshangoga to put the visitors ahead at Gicumbi Stadium, but it was a short-lived lead as Fidele Harerimana equalised after ten minutes.

Despite dominating the possession, the military side could not find a second lead against a well-organized Gicumbi defence until the 40th minute when quick-fleet Dominique Savio Nshuti punished the hosts for a defensive howler inside the box after some good work by Usengimana and Emmanuel Imanishimwe.

The first-half ended 2-1.

APR continued to dominate the game after the break, but the hosts also had a number of goal chances to come back into the game but a tight APR back-line combined with the wastefulness of Gicumbi strikers ensured the score remained 2-1 until Innocent Nshuti’s stoppage time goal to seal the victory.

With the vital three points; APR are back atop with 62 points, but they must wait until Saturday to see if Rayon Sports can beat Amagaju to regain the leadership baton as the league heads into its final three match rounds.

Roberto Oliveira’s Rayon are second with 60 points and a game in hand. Mukura lie third, at 52, while Police complete top four with 43 points.

AS Kigali, AS Muhanga go head-to-head

In the meantime, AS Muhanga visit AS Kigali on Friday looking for a crucial win would move them to sixth, up from the ninth position where they are currently located.

Ahead of their tie against Jean de Dieu Mateso’s side, AS Muhanga, with 32 points, are three points behind sixth-placed Espoir but they have a superior goal difference (1) compared to Espoir’s deficit of five.

“We are playing away, but we are optimistic and the players are fit to give it their best. We want to go back home with the important three points and the big jump on the table,” said AS Muhanga coach Abdul Mbarushimana.

In a separate interview, Mateso warned his AS Kigali players not to rely on the home advantage and “play the game as if your lives depend on it” as the 2013 Peace Cup winners seek to end their disastrous 2018/2019 league campaign on a high.

The two sides’ first-leg ended in a goalless draw at Muhanga Stadium in December 2018.