Heroes Cup: AS Kigali, APR face off in opener

APR forward Muhadjiri Hakizimana (10) vies for the ball with former AS Kigali captain Soter Kayumba, who has since joined Kenyan side Sofapaka, in a past league match at Kigali Stadium. File.


APR               Vs    AS Kigali      15:30

Etincelles       Vs    Rayon         18:00

AS Kigali and APR will be battling for a positive start when they meet in the opening match of this year’s Heroes Cup football tournament on Saturday at Kigali Stadium, starting at 3:30pm.

Holders Rayon Sports and Etincelles will face-off in the second game later in the day, at the same venue.

The week-long annual tournament is contested by teams that comprised top four of the previous Azam Rwanda Premier League season. This year’s four teams are; APR, Rayon Sports, AS Kigali and Etincelles.

“We are ready for the game, we know AS Kigali will give us a hard time and we have prepared accordingly. This is a tournament that we take seriously, our target is to start well and try winning all our games,” said Jimmy Mulisa, the APR head coach.

In a separate interview, AS Kigali coach Djuma Masudi said: “It’s going to be a tough match on both sides, we will have to be at the top of our game to earn all the points. My players are fired up, and fit, to battle for victory.”

After Saturday’s fixtures, Etincelles will be up against APR on Tuesday whilst Roberto Oliveira’s Rayon will delight AS Kigali.

On January 31, it’ll be a clash between Rwanda’s two finest female teams with powerhouse AS Kigali taking on Rubavu-based Scandinavia.

The final day of the tournament will coincide with the National Heroes Day, February 1, where AS Kigali will play Etincelles, a game that will precede the country’s biggest football fixture – between rivals Rayon Sports and APR.

The tournament winners will pocket Rwf4 million on top of the trophy, twice the cash prize for first runners-up. The second runners-up and bottom side will walk away with Rwf1.5 million and Rwf1 million, respectively.

Rayon Sports won last year’s edition tied on four points but with a superior goal difference over APR and Police respectively. The Blues lost 2-1 to APR in the last game.