Cecafa Kagame Cup: APR players urged to stay focused

APR striker Lague Byiringiro (L) vies for the ball with Amit Shamende of Green Eagles during Monday’s 1-0 victory at Kigali Stadium. / Courtesy

Wednesday

Group D
AS Ports Vs Gor Mahia 13:00
KMKM Vs AS Maniema 15:30

JIMMY Mulisa has appealed to his APR players to stay focused after becoming the first team to reach quarter-finals of the 2019 Cecafa Kagame Cup on Monday.

The army side, three-time winners of the regional tournament, sealed their spot in the knockout stage after seeing off Zambian side Green Eagles 1-0 on Monday, just two days after starting their title bid with an identical victory, against Proline of Uganda.

“It was not an easy victory, but we made it. We are now into quarter-finals,” said Mulisa, a former forward for APR and the national team.

However, “there is no time to relax,” he told his players, challenging them to finish as Group C leaders so they can have a relatively easier path through the last eight.

If APR hold onto their top spot in Group C after Thursday’s game against winless Heegan FC, of Somalia, they will have Group D first runners-up as their quarter-final opponents.

On Monday, the lone goal that fired APR to quarter-finals came from Green Eagles defender Borface Sungu who scored in his own net while trying to clear a powerful strike from full-back Fitina Omborenga in the 59th minute.

Mulisa added: “I like the progress we are making in terms of teamwork and building confidence. We have to keep working and trying to perfect our game for Thursday’s match [against Heegan] and the knockouts, and I have faith in my players for the tasks ahead.”

In the meantime, Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, who beat DR Congo side AS Maniema 2-1 on Monday courtesy of goals from Wellington Ochieng and Boniface Omondi, face Djibouti outfit AS Ports in their second game, in Group D, on Wednesday. Kick-off 1pm.

All Group D games are hosted at Umuganda Stadium, north-west of the country.

AS Ports also started their group campaign with a 2-0 win against Zanzibar’s KMKM, and they will be to defy the odds, against group favourites Gor Mahia, to seal their last eight slot with a game to spare.

The 2019 edition of Cecafa Kagame Cup – the oldest club competition on the continent – started last Saturday and runs through July 21.

It is being held in Rwanda for the first time since 2014 when APR lost 1-0 to Sudanese heavyweights Al-Merrikh SC in the final.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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