Ten-man Police FC defeated holders APR FC 1-0 in the opening match of this year’s Heroes Cup tournament as Rayon Sports and AS Kigali shared spoils at Amahoro National Stadium on Saturday.
Police Fc snatched the sole goal coutesy midfielder Hussein Habimana’s 45th minute strike following good combination with Dominic Antoine Ndayishimiye.
Police FC were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Emmanuel Bwanakweli was sent off by referee Jean Paul Ngabonziza in the 35th minute after a dangerous tackle on APR striker Lague Byiringiro outside the box.
APR Fc failed to find the net as forwards Issa Bigirimana, Byiringiro and Onesme Twizerimana squandered scoring chances. At the stroke of half-time, Police took a surprise lead through Habimana.
In the second half, Police forward Dominic Antoine Ndayishimiye hit the crossbar while Isaie Songa had three chances but denied by goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure.
APR coach Jimmy Mulisa used his new signings including Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Jean Claude Iranzi and youngster striker Byiringiro but they could not help the army side to get anything from the game.
Meanwhile, Azam Rwanda Premier League champions Rayon Sports, who were missing key players (up six Rayon Sports players are with Amavubi in CHAN finals) while four are injured, (Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana, Ismaila Diarra, Nova Bayama and Jean D’Amour Ndayisenga).
Rayon Sports, without head coach Olivier Karekezi, who is in Sweden for family reasons, dominated proceedings and created numerous opportunities but with little success in terms of attempts on target.
Newly appointed assistant coach Jeannot Witakenga fielded all the new signings including; Cameroonian Chris Mbondi, Ugandan Yassin Mugume, Burundian Hussein Tchabalala Shaban and Nigerian Yussuf Balogum Ola. Rayon had only two players on bench, Abouba Bashunga and Gilbert Mugisha.
AS Kigali had four clear scoring chances and new signing Fuadi Ndayisenga hit the upright in first half while Emmanuel Ngama hit the crossbar in first half.
The second day of the Heroes Cup will be played on January 27 with AS Kigali taking on APR Fc wile Rayon Sports will meet Police Fc.
On the last day of the tournament on February 1, which is also the National Heroes Day, Police FC will take on AS Kigali, whereas holders APR will play against arch rivals Rayon Sports.
The winner of the Heroes Cup tournament will get Rwf6m on top of the trophy and gold medals, second place side will receive Rwf3m and silver medals, while the team that takes third place will walk away with Rwf2m and bronze medals. The fourth-placed team will take home Rwf1m.
The competition will be played on a robin round format with all four teams playing each other and afterwards, FERWAFA’s Competitions Commission will consider the points tally and goal difference to determine the tournament winners.
2018 Heroes Cup
Day 1: Saturday Results
APR FC 0-1 Police FC
Rayon Sports 0-0 AS Kigali
Day Two, January 27
AS Kigali vs APR Fc (Amahoro stadium, 13:00)
Rayon Sports Fc vs Police Fc (Amahoro Stadium, 15:30)
Final Day, February 1, 2018
Police Fc vs AS Kigali
APR Fc vs Rayon Sports Fc
The Express News