The Azam Rwanda Premier League champions APR Fc started the 2018 CECAFA Kagame Cup Tournament on a wrong note as they lost to debutants Singida United in the opening match held on Friday night at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Goals from Habib Kyombo and Tibar John earned the hosts a crucial victory ahead of their next two matches. APR Fc goalies Yves Kimenyi and his replacement Steven Ntaribi both conceded a goal in each half, all attributed to poor goalkeeping tactics and defending to put the military side on verge of a group stage exit.
Centre back Aimable Nsabimana scored the consolation in the dying seconds of the game, a goal which could not earn anything for the Serbian Coach Ljubomir ‘Ljupko’ Petrovic.
In other matches played on Friday, holders Azam FC defeated Kator Fc of South Sudan 2-1 at Chamazi stadium while Zanzibar side JKU and Vipers Sports Club settled for a one-all draw in Group A.
Action continues on Saturday when Tanzanian giants SC Simba take on minnows Dakadaha of Somalia in Group C at Uhuru Stadium before AS Ports of Djibouti battles it out against Lydia Ludic of Burundi in Group at Chamazi stadium.
Meanwhile, Rwandan side Rayon Sports FC and Kenya’s side Gor Mahia were the last participating teams to arrive in Dar es Salaam on Friday ready for Sunday’s clash which will be played at Uhuru Stadium.
The best two clubs from each of the three groups and the three best losers will qualify for the knock out stages.
The tournament financially sponsored by Rwanda President Paul Kagame, pits together elite teams from East and Central Africa.
The last edition in 2015 was staged in Tanzania, with local side Azam beating Gor Mahia of Kenya 2-0 in to emerge champions, setting a tournament record of not conceding a goal en route to the title.
CECAFA Kagame Cup Tournament
JKU (Zanziba) 1-1 Vipers FC (Uganda)
Azam FC (Tanzania) 2-1 Kator FC (South Sudan)
Singida Utd (Tanzania) 2-1 APR Fc (Rwanda)
SC Simba (Tanzania) vs Dakadaha (Somala) – Uhuru Stadium (1pm)
AS Ports (Djibouti) vs Lydi Ludic (Burundi) – Chamazi (3pm)