Rayon Sports FC snatched a dramatic 1-0 win over arch rivals APR FC thanks to a last-minute penalty from Ghanaian striker Michael Sarpong to close gap on the APR FC at the summit of the Azam Rwanda Premier League Standings.
Both sides staged an entertaining game which was held at a fully packed 25,000-seater Amahoro Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a match day 23 encounter.
APR FC started the game on a bright note with several free-kick attempts outside the goal area from Hakizimana Muhadjiri and attempts from Ally Niyonzima, Savio Nshuti Dominique and Lague Byiringiro but Rayon Sport FC responded positively with good saves from goalkeeper Mazimpaka Andre and their confidence grew slowly.
Jules Ulimwengu, Michael Sarpong and Olivier Niyonzima had some clear chances which were not well utilized.
In the second half, it was an open and physical game that was staged with minimal chances of finding the net. With ten minutes to the end of the game, APR FC were given an opportunity to find a goal with a free-kick at the edge of the penalty box with Hakizimana’s attempt being blocked by Rayon Sports defenders.
In the 92nd minute, Rayon Sports secured a penalty when Ghanian striker Sarpong was brought down in the goal area by APR FC defender Herve Rugwiro leaving centre referee Ishimwe Jean Claude with no option other than awarding a penalty.
The Ghanian striker converted the penalty, sending APR FC goalie Kimenyi Yves the wrong way to send Rayon Sports FC supporters in jubilations.
Rayon Sport Fc’s win kept them second with 51 points, three points behind reigning champions APR FC with six games remaining to the end of the 2018/19 Azam Rwanda Premier League.
The victory for the Blues was an avegence for the former champions who were condemned to a 2-1 loss by APR FC in the first leg of this season played in December 2018.
Elsewhere, Musanze FC beat Kirehe FC 2-1 in Musaze District. Musanze FC has risen to tenth position with 27 point while Kirehe FC remains in 15th slot with 17 points.
On Sunday, Police Football Club take on Etincelles seeking a win to keep pressure on SC Kiyovu in the battle for top-four finish in the 2018-19 Azam Rwanda Premier League.
The law enforcers are in fifth position with 34 points, four behind fourth-placed SC Kiyovu who visit Gicumbi FC on the same day.
Sunrise Fc will host AS Muhanga at Nyagatare grounds, AS Kigali will be away to Bugesera FC at Stade Kicukiro, SC Kiyovu face a tricky test at Gicumbi FC while Espoir FC will host Mukura VS in Rusizi.
On Monday, there is only one fixture where Amagaju FC hosts Marines FC at Nyagisenyi grounds.
Line-ups from both sides which played on Saturday
Rayon Sports XI: Mazimpaka Andre (GK,30), Iradukunda Eric Radou 14, Eric Rutanga Alba 3, Habimana Hussein 20, Mutsinzi Ange Jimmy 5, Manzi Thierry (C,4), Mugheni Kakule Fabrice 27, Niyonzima Olivier Sefu 21, Donkor Prosper Kuka 8, Ulimwengu Jules 7 and Sarpong Michael 19.
APR FC XI: Kimenyi Yves (GK,21), Rusheshangoga Michel 22, Buregeya Prince Caldo 18, Ombolenga Fitina 25, Imanishimwe Emmanuel 24, Rugwiro Herve 4, Ally Niyonzima 28, Mugiraneza Jean Baptiste Miggy (C,7), Nshuti Dominique Savio 27, Byiringiro Lague 14 and Hakizimana Muhadjili 10.
Azam Rwanda Premier League, Match Day 23 Fixtures/Results
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Rayon Sports FC 1-0 APR FC
Musanze FC 2-1 Kirehe FC
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Police FC vs Etincelles FC (Stade de Kigali, 15h30)
Sunrise FC vs AS Muhanga (Nyagatare Grounds, 15h30)
Bugesera FC vs AS Kigali (Stade Kicukiro, 15h30)
Gicumbi FC vs SC Kiyovu (Stade Gicumbi, 15h30)
Espoir FC vs Mukura VS (Rusizi, 15h30)
Monday, April 22, 2019
Amagaju FC vs Marines FC (Stade Nyagisenyi, 15h30)