RPF Football tourney
APR 3-1 Rayon Sport
Rwandan football giants APR won the RPF’s 25th anniversary football title, overcoming traditional rivals Rayon Sport 3-1 in a closely-fought encounter on Wednesday at Amahoro stadium.
18-year old strikers Farouk Ruhinda scored a brace with Jacques Cyubahiro also finding the net as the military side lifted the title which was organised to commemorate the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s 25th anniversary.
Skipper Aphrodis Hategikimana scored the consolation goal for the blues.
Coach Eric Nshimiyimana changed one player from the side that scrapped to a 2-0 last four win over Burundi’s Vital’o, bringing in Jacques Cyubahiro for injured Ntamuhanga Tumaine while French Coach Didier da Rosa Gomes maintained the same side that thrashed Uganda’s SC Villa in the semi final.
The match at the 25,000 capacity Amahoro national stadium was frenetic right from the first whistle with both sides creating several chances as play swung from end to end.
Rayon Sport came closest to taking the lead after ten minutes when goalie Jean Claude Ndoli fumbled a Cedrick Amissi effort from a free kick.
Ten minutes later, Hegman Ngoma tasted goalie Marcel Nzarora with a fine header which the former Amavubi U-17 custodian put on bay with a fine save.
Kambale Salita should have scored two minutes later after Heritier Turatsinze let the ball slip under his foot but the DR Congolese born striker blazed his shot over the bar from the edge of the penalty box with Ndoli to beat.
APR’s Barnabe Mubumbyi then had a shot going wide afterwards before Jerome Sina was similarly denied at the other hand.
The blues dominated the proceeding of the first half but both sides had equal chances of finding the net only to be wasted.
Both teams entered the break goalless despite wasting clear chances to find the net. The second half started as quick as the first with Cyubahiro and Jean Claude Iranzi causing all sorts of problems for the Blues defence before Ruhinda gave Nzarora a fright with a shot which hit a cross bar on 56th minutes.
There was finally a breakthrough a minute later when Emery Bayisenge’s freekick was blocked. Rayon Sport had a goal disallowed after playing a one-on-one with Fuadi Ndayisenga only to be ruled offside by Burundian assistant referee Jean Claude Birumushahu.
APR benefited from Rayon Sport players frustrations to launch a counter-attack which found Ruhinda in the right position, dribbling past Karim Nizigiyimana to score the openining goal on 60th minute.
Gomes brought Hussein Sibomana on for Fuadi Ndayisenga almost straighaway and the blues continued searching for an equaliser which never took long to come.
Hategikimana connected a well taken set-piece from Sina to score Rayon Sport’s equaliser on 80th minute. The Frenchman then boosted his striking force with Leandre Sekamana replacing Djamal Mwiseneza and it paid off when the former Police midfielder nearly sinked APR but had his shot blocked by Ndoli who was at his best yesterday.
Coach Nshimiyimana brought in Hamdan Bariyanga for Albert Ngabo to beef up his team’s defence and the former Etincelles defender connected a set piece to Jean Claude Iranzi who also beat off a defensive blunder to set up a neat ball to Cyubahiro and the former Isonga striker netted the second goal for the military side on 85th minute.
Eric Nsabimana was then brought in for injured Cyubahiro to solidy the midfield and Rayon Sport who opted to search for an equaliser left their defence unattended too and it was a dangerous ball from inside the midfield taken by Barnabe Mubumbyi that helped impresive Ruhinda to dribble past central defender Faustin Usengimana and sent goalie Nzarora the wrong way, to score a brilliant goal in injury time.
Burundian giants Vital’o took third place earlier, defeating SC Villa 2-1 through goals from Yussuf Ndikumana and Gires Mavuzi Mambu while Denis Okot scored a consolation goal for the Jogoo side.
The military side walked away with Rwf6.3m on top of the trophy while Rayon Sport got Rwf. 4.4m. Rwf. 3.1m was reserved for Vital’o, while SC Villa received Rwf. 1.9m.