Ramadhan Niyibizi netted twice to help APR edge out JKU SC 3-1 on Wednesday and register their first victory at the ongoing 2024 Mapinduzi Cup tournament in Zanzibar.
Niyibizi put Thierry Froger’s side in front in the sixth minute at Amaan Stadium when Abdouramane Alioum, who is on trial at APR, headed the ball to the Rwandan right-winger to score from close range after a crisp cross from Bemol Apam Assongwe.
However, Abdalla Saleh levelled for JKU on the stroke of half-time after Clement Niyigena tripped Aboubakar Said in the penalty area, and Saleh deftly sent APR goalkeeper Pavelh Ndzila the wrong way from the spot.
The Rwanda Premier League holder regained a lead after just one minute in the second half, following JKU goalkeeper Haji Ali’s error and Victor Mbaoma prodded the ball into the net to mark his second goal in the competition.
Niyibizi ensured APR racked up their first group-stage win in the 66th minute when the winger netted a left-footed strike off the post from 25 yards to bag a brace. He was also named the man of the match, bagging TZS500,000 (Rwf250,000) as the prize.
APR had shockingly lost 3-1 to Tanzania’s Singida Big Stars in their opener on Monday. They will return to action on Friday, January 5, facing off against a demanding opponent, Simba SC.
Meanwhile, the Zanzibari outfit are yet to prevail in the competition, having been overwhelmed 3-1 by Simba SC in their opener.
Mapinduzi Cup is a competition established by Zanzibar Football Federation (ZFF) in 1998 to mark Zanzibar’s Revolution Day, which is annually celebrated on January 12.