APR look to avoid upset as title race enters crucial stage

APR have scored 35 goals, and conceded ten times, after 23 league matches this season. Sam Ngendahimana.


APR           Vs     Bugesera    15:30

Marines     Vs     Musanze    15:30

Espoir        Vs     Sunrise       15:30

Serbian coach Zlatko Krmpotić has urged his APR players to have the ‘right mentality’ so as to avoid another setback in their title defence when they host Bugesera FC on Saturday.

The game starts at 3:30pm, at Kigali Stadium.

APR, who have suffered three defeats in the 2018/2019 Azam Rwanda Premier League season, lost 1-0 to archrivals and second-placed Rayon Sports  last Saturday.

Should Bugesera upset the record 17-time champions, and Rayon beat AS Muhanga on Sunday, the race will even get fiercer, as the two heavyweights would go level on 54 points after 24 matches – and with six left for each side.

Before the weekend action, APR lead the table with 54 points, three ahead of second-placed Rayon. Mukura, who face fifth-placed Police on Sunday, are third with 48 points.

Hassan Muhire’s Bugesera will have a mountain to climb while trying to stop a recharged APR side who have both the most solid defence and the most lethal attack of the league this season, having only conceded ten goals and netted thirty-five times.

Krmpotić says that a win against Bugesera will not only be important in terms of earning the fans’ trust back, but also the three points are vital in their bid for a record-extending 18th title.

“We can’t afford to lose this game. We have to keep our title ambitions bright and to do so; we must beat Bugesera and stay in the commanding position,” said the Serbian tactician who joined APR in February.

Bugesera held APR to a 1-all draw during the two sides’ first-leg clash, at Nyamata grounds, last December.

He further challenged his men that ‘winning all the remaining seven games is the only guarantee’ to achieve their mission, and hence should prepare for and approach each game as their final.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Rubavu-based Marines take on Musanze at Umuganda Stadium, while sixth-placed Espoir will be welcoming Sunrise to Kamarampoaka Stadium.