Mulisa hails APR players’ “fighting spirit” against Rayon

Rayon Sports midfielder Olivier Sefu Niyonzima (center) vies for the ball with APR skipper Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza during the 2-1 loss at Amahoro Stadium on Wednesday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Jimmy Mulisa has praised his APR players for their “strong character and fighting spirit” following the military side’s win over bitter rivals Rayon Sports on Wednesday.

Reigning champions APR ran out 2-1 winners at Amahoro Stadium in their much anticipated game against Rayon with goals from Issa Bigirimana and Michel Rusheshangoga.

Ghana-born striker Micheal Sarpong scored the consolation goal for Rayon.

Mulisa, a former forward for APR and Amavubi, was full of praise for his players after overcoming a “very talented” Blues side despite being reduced to ten men earlier in the second-half.

He said: “The players were fantastic today, I was very amazed by their fighting spirit. We squandered a number of goal opportunities in the first-half and went one man down early in second-half, but we never gave in. We are fighters.”

“They (Rayon) are a very talented and strong team, and they have players who can score against you at any time. I would say luck was on our side tonight,” Mulisa told journalists in a post-match interview.

On the other hand, Rayon Sports’ Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira rued the chances his forwards failed to utilise, but also admitted that their goalkeeper and defenders were not at their best.

With three minutes to time, Sarpong with a superb finish, wheeled away in celebration thinking he had netted the winner for the visitors, only for it to be disallowed for off-side. Shortly, Rusheshangonga handed his side the winner.

Record 18-time champions APR are second on the log with 18 points from six games, one point behind leaders Mukura who have played one game more.