Brazilian Roberto Oliveira has praised his Rayon Sports players for their ‘undisputable’ fighting spirit following his side’s victory over rivals APR to lift this year’s Agaciro Development Fund Cup at Amahoro National Stadium on Sunday.
Rayon retained the title after defeating ten-man APR 1-0.
The lone goal of the game was scored by midfielder Francois ‘Master’ Mugisha in the 90+1 minute following a lapse by APR defenders.
“I loved the way my players handled the game, they showed that they wanted to win from the beginning and there is no doubt the victory was well deserved. APR pushed really hard but we were the better side throughout, we managed their pressure well,” Roberto said.
Roberto joined Rayon Sports in June after Belgian coach Ivan Minneart was fired. It was the first time that APR faced Rayon Sports since the former Brazil international, 58, took the club’s hot seat.
By winning the annual tournament on Sunday, Rayon Sports did not only become the first side to claim it back-to-back, but also it means that the eight-time Rwandan champions have won it three times.
The Blues added this year’s silverware to the inaugural edition’s glory in 2012 and last year’s triumph.
“Beating AS Kigali and APR on their way to lifting the title is such a massive boost of confidence to players and the technical staff, we will go into the new season with a purpose and on form. We can’t afford to lose focus,” he noted.
APR center-back Herve Rugwiro was sent off seven minutes into the second-half after the 25-year old rushed into Olivier Niyonzima with a cruel kick in the chest.
“We were doing just fine until Herve was shown a red card, which our opponents exploited to dominate the game and eventually win it. But I think, overall, we played a good game,” APR’s Serbian coach, Ljubomir Petrovic, said later.
AS Kigali took the third position after overcoming Etincelles 2-1.
Rwanda international and Rayon Sports creative midfielder Kevin Muhire was named the player of the three-day tournament, while his teammate Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana, AS Kigali forward Jean Claude Ndarusanze and Lague Byiringiro shared the topscorer’s accolade with 2 goals each.
The four-team tournament is organised by the local football governing body, Ferwafa, as part of broader efforts to raise funds towards Agaciro Development Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.