Battle of titans as APR, Rayon square off in Agaciro Cup final

Burundian striker Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana (right) celebrates his Rayon Sports teammates after scoring his second goal against AS Kigali at Amahoro Stadium on Friday. Courtsey.

Sunday

Final
APR Vs Rayon 15:30

Third place playoff
AS Kigali Vs Etincelles 13:00

Friday
Rayon 3-1 AS Kigali
APR 3-0 Etincelles

No football fan in the country will need any introduction to Rwanda’s biggest football clash between Rayon Sports and APR as the two giants lock horns this afternoon in the final showdown of this year’s Agaciro Development Fund tournament.

The game starts at 3:30pm, at Amahoro National Stadium.

There is no love lost whenever APR take on Rayon, and today’s clash will not be any different from the past encounters, which have always produced entertainment, goals and at times drama.

APR will be hoping to deny their archrivals a chance to lift the title for a second time in a row.

On Friday, at Amahoro Stadium, Ljubomir ‘Ljupko’ Petrovic’s side thrashed Etincelles 3-0 thanks to Lague Byiringiro’s double in the 11th and 53rd minute, respectively, and stoppage time strike from Mustapha Nsengiyumva. The latter is a new signing at the military side.

“It is not going to be easy against Rayon Sports, it never is. They are the holders and surely they will be fighting to retain it, but we will also go into Sunday’s game with purpose to win. We will approach the game the same way we did with Etincelles,” Ljubomir, APR coach, told Sunday Sport in a post-match interview on Friday.

Etincelles were reduced to ten in the second half after midfielder Hamisi Tuyisenge was sent off with a second yellow card following his petty foul on Dominique Savio Nshuti.

Elsewhere on Friday, Rayon Sports who were returning to domestic football for the first time since exiting the CAF Confederation Cup last Sunday, came from behind to beat AS Kigali 3-1.

AS Kigali took an early lead, after ten minutes, courtesy of Burundian import Jean Claude Ndarusanze. Striker Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana equalized for the Blues in the 42nd minute.

The high flying Burundian striker put Rayon Sports ahead in the 79th minute before Nova Bayama made it 3-1 in the 90th minute.

Rayon Sports’ Coach, Brazilian Roberto Oliveira Goncalves de Calmo believes that his players know how to handle big games, and are ready to retain the cup.

“My players understand the magnitude of the game and the opponent we’re facing, so motivation won’t be a problem. My men are fit and ready for the game,” said Roberto.

Prior to the APR and Rayon Sports derby, AS Kigali will take on Etincelles in the third place play-off – starting at 1:30pm.

Last year, then under former Amavubi and APR skipper Olivier Karekezi, Rayon defeated APR 1-0 to win the 2017 Agaciro Cup title.

Winners of the 2018 edition will pocket Rwf2m. Finalists take Rwf1 while the second runners-up will walk away with Rwf 500,000.

The Agaciro Development Fund football championship is staged annually as part of raising funds towards the Agaciro Development Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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