Mukura buoyant ahead of first Peace Cup final in 9 years

While APR need to win today to reach the Peace Cup final a third time in a row, a draw will see Mukura reach the final for the first time since 2009. File photo.

 

Today

APR                     Vs    Mukura

Thursday

Rayon Sports   Vs   Sunrise

Mukura Victory Sports are looking to stun APR when the two league sides face off this afternoon in their Peace Cup semi-final return-leg at Kigali Stadium as Mukura seek to reach their first Peace Cup final since 2009.

Both sides played out a goalless draw in first leg last Friday at Huye Stadium.

Any draw – other than a goalless draw – today will see Mukura book a ticket to the final while the military side will need victory to reach the tournament’s final for a third consecutive time.

Mukura VS coach Francis Haringingo insisted that his side’s target in the tournament is to lift the title as they bid to represent the country at the 2019 CAF Confederation Cup.

“We are visiting the holders and there is no doubt it is going to be a tough game. It is important we win to stay on course to achieve our target. Getting an away win away from home would further boost our confidence going into the final,” Haringingo told Times Sport on Tuesday.

The yellow-and-black outfit have never made it to the final since 2009 when they lost 1-0 to now-defunct Atraco FC.

“We know we are going to face a team that is in form, and moreover at home, so we must challenge ourselves to play our best football and stick to our game plan. This is a match that means a lot to me as a coach, and to the club in general,” he added.

Mukura have won the Peace Cup (formerly called Rwandan Cup) four times, the last one having come 26 years ago, in 1992. They had previously clinched the title in 1978, 1986 and 1990.

Rayon vow to bounce back

In the meantime, Rayon Sports coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves de Calmo has fired warning to Sunrise FC that they will bounce back in the return leg after losing 2-1 in the first-leg of the two sides’ semi-final tie on Monday in Nyagatare District.

The 2016 Peace Cup winners host Sunrise for the second-leg this Thursday at Kigali Stadium.

“We lost the game but we still have a chance.

We are working hard and will be ready for the challenge. Thankfully, we will also be playing at home, in front of our fan base,” the Brazilian said.

Sunrise forward Cyprien Sinamenye opened the scoring in the second minute before Musa Sova doubled the lead in the 58th minute while Cameroon-born striker Christ Mbondi netted the consolation goal for the blues in the 90+4 minute.

After Monday’s defeat, the eight-time league champions will be hoping to turn tables when they host Sunrise. A draw will be enough for the visitors to sail through to the final.

Winners of the 2018 Peace Cup, whose final is set for August 12, will represent Rwanda in CAF Confederation Cup next year.

Azam Rwanda Premier League champions APR, who are in contention for a domestic double, have already booked a ticket to represent Rwanda in CAF Champions League next season.

Should the military side win the Peace Cup as well, AS Kigali will play in the 2019 CAF Confederation Cup as the 2017/18 league’s first runners-up.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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