Mukura Vs APR 15:30
It is guaranteed to be a cracker of a match as Mukura Victory Sports and APR FC square off in this year’s Super Cup clash this afternoon at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu District.
APR are the reigning Azam Rwanda Premier League champions while Mukura VS are holders of the 2018 Peace Cup title. The game will serve as a curtain-raiser for the 2018/19 league season which gets underway on October 19.
Francis Haringingo’s team go into the game on a high following their Peace Cup triumph that brought to an end to the club’s 26-year trophy drought.
However, Mukura coach Haringingo has warned his players against complacency as the black and yellow outfit seek to win their first Super Cup title and boost their confidence ahead of the new season during which they will also represent the country in CAF Confederation Cup.
“This is a match of high caliber, with a lot of meaning tied to it – we do not want to lose. I have spoken to my men and appealed to them to take it very seriously as we seek to bag our second title in less than two months. Players are mentally prepared and physically fit for the game,” Haringongo told Saturday Sport on Friday.
Mukura clinched the Peace Cup title after overcoming Rayon Sports 3-1 in penalty shoot-outs following a goalless draw.
Haringingo further noted that, “I have no doubt that the game is going to be tough on both sides, we have to utilise well every goal opportunity we get and avoid defensive mistakes.”
The season-opener match between league champions and Peace Cup winners is organised by the local football governing body, Ferwafa, in partnership with league sponsors Azam.
Mukura FC coach, Francis Haringingo
APR romped to a record-extending 17th league title in June after finishing the eight-month-long championship with 66 points, five ahead of second-placed AS Kigali.
Serbian tactician Ljubomir ‘Ljupko’ Petrovic, 73, is confident of his side’s chances to defeat Mukura after losing 2-0 to Rayon Sports in last year’s Super Cup match, also staged at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu, the northwest of the country.
“We are looking to the Super Cup game, which we are prepared for as a must-win. We need to claim the Super Cup and start the league in a buoyant mood. It will be tough, but we are ready to do everything we can to be victors,” Petrovic said.
Each team received Rwf3m to help them prepare for the much anticipated game, from the league sponsor Azam.
According to Rwanda Football Association, it will be a winner-take-all as winners will receive another Rwf5m while the losers will receive nothing.
“Matches like this are always tough because there’s no return-leg game, so we must be ready and give our best. We lost to Mukura in Peace Cup semi-final, we can’t afford a second successive defeat to them,” Petrovic added.
This is the first time that both sides will be meeting in a Super Cup contest since its inception in 2016. The inaugural edition was won by AS Kigali after beating Rayon Sports 1-0.
APR will represent the country in the Total Caf Champions League next year while Huye-based Mukura will feature in the continent’s second-tier club competition – the Caf Confederation Cup.