Rayon Sports FC produced probably their best performance of the season today against defending champion and all-time rival APR FC, after failing to win a game against the Army side all competitions in a period of 4 years.
The blues removed the curse by defeating APR FC by one goal to nil on day 19 of the Rwanda Premier League. The game was played before a capacity crowd at Huye International Stadium.
The game started with Rayon Sports, nicknamed ‘Gikundiro’, taking control of the game, giving assurances to the fans that they were determined to break the jinx.
Head coach Christian Francis Haringingo made some changes in the team, especially in defence, where he brought on his captain Abdul Rwatubyaye to start the crucial game despite being absent since first leg games due to injury.
By the 20 minute, the game was at high intensity as Rayon Sport went on the offensive, making the first real attempt on goal but the army sponsored remained solid at the back with players communicating well in all positions to keep a clean sheet.
However, on the 32nd minute, Rayon Sport managed to score the first and only goal of the game- a scrappy goal from Eric Ngendahimana, commonly known as Gasongo who put the ball in the net after a free kick from Héritier Luvumbu. The first half ended 1-0, with Rayon Sports looking to continue where they stopped in the second half.
In the second half, it was an open and physical game that was characterised by minimal chances as a frustrated APR FC side could not find the equalizer, as Rayon Sports defended well, to that goalkeeper Adolphe Hakizimana goes home with a clean sheet.
APR FC’s head coach made changes in the second half, bringing on Anice Ishimwe and Fiston Ishimwe for Djabel Manishimwe and Lague Byiringiro, respectively, to strengthen the army side’s offense but his substitutions did little to change the results.
On 67 minutes of the game APR FC made further substitutions, with Ramadhan Niyibizi and Yannick Bizimana being replaced by Innocent Nshuti and Yves Mugunga but a solid Rayon Sport ensured that their rival’s efforts do not pay off.
Rayon Sports fans patiently anxiously waited for the final whistle in Huye and it finally came. The blues had edged their rivals 1-0 at the end of the much anticipated derby day.
Rayon Sports now sits in 4th position with 36 points, level with Gasogi United while city sponsored side AS Kigali closed in on the league leaders with only one point separating the two teams at the top.
Matches between the two giants have always been keenly contested over the years with some superb performances and the latest encounter lived up to expectations as the archrivals played out an entertaining game which was closely followed by fans of both teams across the globe.
GASOGI UNITED 2-2 RUTSIRO FC
KIYOVU SPORTS 2-1 RWAMAGANA FC
GORILLA FC 0-1 AS KIGALI
POLICE FC 2-0 MUKURA VSL
ETINCELLES FC 2-0 ESPOIR FC
SUNRISE FC 1-2 MARINES FC
BUGESERA FC 1-1 MUSANZE FC
APR FC 0-1 RAYON SPORTS