Home Sports Police Win Peace Cup to end 9-year Drought

Police Win Peace Cup to end 9-year Drought

by Eddy Abayisenga
8:53 am

Police are champions

Police have been crowned the Rwanda Peace Cup winners after nine years of wait, following their huge 2-1 victory over Bugesera on Wednesday.

Jibrin Akuki and Eric Nsabimana goals clinched the second-ever Peace Cup trophy for the Rwandan police-owned franchise and Vincent Mashami as Farouk Ssentongo’s late goal wasn’t enough to hand Bugesera a triumph in their first-ever appearance in the competition’s final.

The two sides played out a mediocre first half, which ended in a scoreless tie. Police had loads of possession and were entertaining to watch, whilst Bugesera were playing resolved football, creating numerous scoring chances.

Ani Elijah attempted to open the scoring at Kigali Pele Stadium in the 19th minute when he launched a massive counter attack along with a couple of teammates. Nevertheless, he was unable to break the stalemate despite being in a one-on-one position against Police goalkeeper Onesme Rukundo.

Through their dominance, Jibrin Akuki put Police ahead in the 57th minute with a crisp finish after Muhadjiri Hakizimana delivered a long pass from halfway line to the Nigerian midfielder.

Eight minutes later, Vincent Mashami’s side doubled the advantage after Marc Nkubana’s corner kick found Nsabimana in the right place at the right time, and the Rwandan midfielder netted with a decent header.

Bugesera pulled one back in the 80th minute when Faustin Niyomukiza crossed for Farouk Ssentongo to head home from close range. Nsabimana could have done better and cleared the ball off the line, though he fired a blank.

Francis Haringingo’s men inflicted pressure on Police in injury time, although their efforts were in vain.

“Before the game, I believed in my spirit that we”re going to win the trophy. This is a big excitement, I have to be grateful to God because it has not been easy,” Jibrin Akuki told KT Press after the game.

Akuki insisted that he wasn’t hampered by not being in the Mashami’s starting lineup regularly, claiming that he waited for his chance to arrive and seize it.

“He (Police head coach Mashami) is pushing us on and off the pitch and motivates us whenever we lose or win the game. I would say congratulations to him because he has been on our back.”

Police receiced Rwf12 million in addition to the title and will represent Rwanda in 2024-25 CAF Confederation Cup. This was Mashami’s second trophy with the club this season, following the Heroes Cup glory in February after defeating APR 2-1 in the final.

Meanwhile, Peace Cup glory was what Bugesera had left to play for this season as Haringingo, who had won this competition two times, failed to land the title in Bugesera district.

The relegation-threatened team are second from the bottom in the league’s standings, levelling on points with rock-bottom side Etoile de l’ Est. Therefore, this campaign could go down as one of the worst ones for Bugesera should they relegated.

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