The New Times (Kigali)

30 December 2012

Rwanda: Clash of Titans

Stakes will be higher than ever before when perennial archrivals Rayon Sport and APR FC face off in a rescheduled Primus National Football League match on Sunday at Amahoro stadium.

There is no love lost between the two bitter enemies, who meet this afternoon in a first round game that was initially supposed to be played early last month but was postponed due to national team engagements.

The two sides go into the match both needing to win and improve their standing in the league table, especially with both languish in mid table and separated by one point.

The defending champion APR are sixth with 16 points and will be looking for three points after losing to AS Kigali 0-1 in mid-week, while Rayon are in seventh position with 15 points.

This season's surprise package AS Kigali lead the table with 21 points, two points better than second and third-placed Police and Kiyovu.

Rayon Sport French coach Didier Gomes da Rosa said yesterday, "All the remaining games are very crucial and we need to be focused, every game for us is like a final match if we want to win the title."

"We are well prepared and players are 100% ready to try to get maximum points against APR. It will be a very interesting game as we know APR is good side," added Gomes da Rose.

"We played well against them on final of Rwandese Patriotic Front's 25th anniversary tournament trophy but we lost the match, and we want to make up for that loss," he added.

The blues are in great form after they thrashed Etincelles 3-2 at Muhanga stadium to move to seventh position.

His counterpart of APR, Eric Nshimiyimana said is youthful team is ready for the challenge, "We have prepared well for the game. The loss against AS Kigali still hurts but that is part of the game and we need to get back to winning ways," said the former Isonga FC coach.

It will be the second meeting between the two traditional rivals in a space of fifteen days. On December 18, APR thumped bitter Rayon Sports 3-1 to lift the Rwandese Patriotic Front's 25th anniversary tournament trophy.

Strikers Farouk Ruhinda, who scored a brace, and Jacques Cyubahiro, who scored the other goal for the 13-times league champions will miss Sunday's game through injuries.

Nshimiyimana will also be without key defenders Ismael Nshitiyamagara 'Kodo' and Eric Nsabimana' Zidane'.

AS Kigali lead the standings with 21 points in ten matches, while Etincelles lie bottom of the standings with five points.

Probably line ups:

Rayon Sport: Marcel Nzarora, Karim Nizigiyimana Makenzi, Iddi Nshimiyimana, Faustin Usengimana, Abouba Sibomana, Hussein Sibomana, Aphrodis Hategekimana Kanombe, Jamal Mwiseneza, Fuadi Ndayisenga, Jerome Sina, Pappy Kamanzi.

APR FC: Jean Claude Ndoli, Michel Rusheshangoga, Heritier Turatsinze, Emery Bayisenge, Albert Ngabo, Jean Baptist Mugiraneza 'Migi', Tumaine Ntamuhange 'Titi', Jean Claude Iranzi, Hegman Ngomirakiza, Isaiah Songa, Bernabe Mubumbyi.

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