Sunrise coach hails players after shock win against APR

Justin Bisengimana is the first manager to guide Sunrise to victory over APR since 2015. File.

Sunrise head coach Justin Bisengimana has heaped praise on his players following their hard-fought 3-2 win over defending champions APR in Nyagatare on Wednesday.

Nigerian striker Samson Babua (with a sensational brace) and midfielder Leo Uwambajimana scored the three goals to inspire Sunrise to a first win against APR in four years.

Bisengimana said: “We were the better side, and definitely we deserved the victory. My players were fantastic from the get-go to the end. The win is a great boost of morale in the team.”

“There is no time to relax,” he challenged his players, noting that, “We have to look forward for the next games, I like the way the team is playing but obviously there is room for improvement. We need to keep working and aim for consistency.”

After the visitors cancelled out Sunrise’s lead twice, first through Muhadjiri Hakizimana in the 38th minute and Dominique Savio Nshuti in the 68th minute, Babua put the game to bed with his sixth goal of the season in the 89th minute to end APR’s hopes of salvaging a point on the night.

The former Police and Gicumbi assistant coach added, “We wasted a lot of chances to score more goals, but the most important thing is that we earned all the points. I am totally satisfied with the performance.”

Sunrise were without their leading striker Jules Ulimwengu (9 goals) who is part of the Burundi junior team that are preparing for the upcoming Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON U20) finals tournament due next month in Niger.

Despite the defeat, APR remain top of the table standings with 35 points following 11 victories, two loses and two draws, while Sunrise moved to within one point of fourth-placed SC Kiyovu.

The Nyagatare District-sponsored side are fifth with 25 points, having recorded 7 wins, four draws and four losses, in their first fifteen games.