Peace Cup: SC Kiyovu survive Police to set up AS Kigali final

SC Kiyovu forward Armel Ghislain, who scored their second goal, rounds off Police defender JMV Muvandimwe during his side’s 4-2 defeat at Kigali Stadium on Sunday. / Julius Ntare

Sunday
Police 4-2 Kiyovu (Aggr. 4-4*)

SC Kiyovu will be hoping to end their major title jinx when they face AS Kigali in the Peace Cup final after easing past Police with a dramatic away goal advantage on Sunday.

Alain Kirasa’s side reached their first Peace Cup final since 1997, despite losing 4-2 to Police in the two sides’ semi-final return-leg at Kigali Stadium.

Police had lost the first-leg 2-0 three days earlier.

On Sunday, visitors Kiyovu opened the scoring through Vincent Habamahoro just after three minutes, but the lead was short-lived as Isaie Songa equalised in the 15th minute before Olivier Usabimana’s brace within five minutes – in the 31st and 36th minutes, respectively – to hand the law enforcers a 3-1 first-half lead.

After recess, Police carried it from where they had left off in search for a goal that would put them in command of the tie and they came close in the 54th minute but Jean Paul Uwimbabazi’s strong strike was parried in the corner by goalkeeper Djihad Nzeyurwanda.

With time, Kiyovu regained confidence and started to control the midfield, and their efforts were rewarded in the 64th minute after Shavy Babicka outpaced Police defenders before setting up for Armel Ghislain inside the box to make it 3-2.

Ghislain and Habamahoro also scored the two goals that sank Police in the first-leg.

Police continued to put pressure on the old giants Kiyovu, but Hamidou Ndayisaba’s goal in the 88th minute was not enough to power them to their first Peace Cup final since 2015.

If Kiyovu beat AS Kigali to clinch the title on Thursday, it will be the club’s first major title in 26 years – since the 1993 league title. They have never won the tournament under the re-branded name ‘Peace Cup’, having previously claimed it twice in 1975 and 1985 as Rwanda Cup.

AS Kigali, the 2001 and 2013 winners, booked their final spot on Saturday after beating Rayon Sports 4-2 on penalties following a 3-all draw over their two-legged tie.

Whichever side prevail between AS Kigali and Kiyovu, they will join Rayon as the two teams that will represent the country in CAF competitions next season.

Peace Cup winners will feature in the Confederation Cup, while league champions Rayon will play the Champions League.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com