The New Times (Kigali)

18 December 2012

Rwanda: Battle for RPF Silver Jubilee Honours

Thirteen-time national football league champions APR Fc renew their rivalry against local nemesis Rayon Sport today in the final of the Rwanda Patriotic Front's 25th anniversary football tournament at Amahoro National Stadium.

En route to the finals, the military side 0n Saturday beat their Caf Champions League opponents Vital'O of Burundi 2-0, thanks to goals from Jean Claude Iranzi and Tumaine Ntamuhanga.

Rayon Sports stunned Uganda's most successful football club Sc Villa, by the same scoreline, on Sunday.

Kambale Salita and Amissi Cedric were on target for the Blues.

Rayon go into the game knowing that it's another chance of ending their trophy drought.

The six time national champions last tested major success in 2004 and MTN Peace Cup in 2005. But recently, Rayon won Agaciro Fund trophy after beating Mukura 1-0.

APR head coach, Eric Nshimiyimana, is optimistic ahead of the game.

"This is a big match for this young side but we have been preparing well and are ready for the challenge ahead, it is always very tense and sometimes emotions decide this fixture but we will do our best, I am sure it will be a good match and good test for us"

"We know Rayon Sport is a good side but we will go on the field with the purpose of winning, I have said before that my team is comprised of youth players, which means they have more to learn; so this is a good test for them"

"They have been growing every day and every match, so we hope to have a good match but we still have to learn and I hope if we win, it will give the team confidence to continue to work hard as we prepare for other tournaments"

On his part, Rayon Sport Coach, Didier Gomes da Rosa, said that he was happy for his team to reach the finals, but he urged his strikers to score more goals.

"We are honored to reach the finals, we are determined to win this match which was important and we were playing a better side; we are ready for the final. APR is big team but we are going for the win," he said.

"Even if APR rested 24 hours more than us, we are ready for them. APR is aggressive and I hope we will see a good match," the Frenchman added.

"My players have been progressing in every game, and I hope we shall score more goals in this game than against SC Villa."

In the third place playoff SC Villa will take on Vital'O in the early kickoff.

The winner will walk away with Rwf6.3m on top of the trophy while first runner-up will get Rwf. 4.4m. Rwf. 3.1m is reserved for third placed team, while the fourth will receive Rwf. 1.9m.

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