APR, Mukura VS in high gear for Caf competitions

Mukura Victory Sports head coach Christian Francis Haringingo gives instructions to one of his players during the Peace Cup final against Rayon Sports at Kigali Stadium on August 12. Sam Ngendahimana.

November 28

First-leg fixtures

Caf Confederation Cup

Free State Stars  VsMukura

CAF Champions League

APR                      VsClub Africain

Rwanda’s representatives in continental football this season, APR and Mukura, have intensified preparations ahead of their respective first-leg encounters in the preliminary stage of continental football next week.

Mukura will be up against South African side Free State Stars on Wednesday in South Africa in the Total CAF Confederation Cup, while APR will be hosting Tunisia’s Club Africain in Champions League the same day in Kigali.

APR have entered residential camp for intensive preparations, and skipper Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza is confident they will go past Club Africain, a side that humiliated and dumped them out of the competition seven years ago.   

APR will be under the tutelage of Jimmy Mulisa following the resignation of former Serbian head coach Ljubomir Lubjo Petrovic.

The military side who are camping at Shyorongi Motel, in Rulindo District, are training twice a day at Shyorongi artificial turf.

According to Mugiraneza, APR have no injury worries, and the first-leg win would be a major boost.

“We have always relied on winning home games, and Wednesday will be no different. It’s a must-win clash if we are to progress to the next round, that is what we will be fighting for,” said Mugiraneza in an interview with Times Sport on Wednesday.

After Wednesday’s first-leg game, APR will travel to Tunis for the decisive encounter a week later where the two sides will tussle it out at Stade Olympique de Radès on December 5.

APR lost 6-2 to Club Africain in the preliminary round of the same competition in 2011.

The two sides played out a 2-all draw in Kigali before APR suffered a humiliating 0-4 defeat in in the return-leg in Tunisia.

Mukura in upbeat mood

Meanwhile, Mukura Victory Sports head coach Christian Francis Haringingo has said that his players are in an “upbeat mood and ready to deliver” as they draw closer to their first-leg clash with Free State Stars.

The black and yellow outfit are playing continental football for the first time since the 2001 CAF African Cup Winners’ Cup.

“We are in good shape individually and collectively, the target is to get positive results in the away first-leg match before we host Free State in the return-leg. Every player is focused and determined to get the mission accomplished,” Haringingo said.

The Huye-based side will face Free State Stars at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday, just six days before hosting the second-leg at Huye Stadium.