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ARPL: Rayon Sports held as title defense hopes wane

Posted on Jun 03 2018

Rayon Sports’ hopes of defending the league title were dealt a blow on Saturday after they were held to a 1-all draw by Police at Stade de Kigali.

The Blues started the match with some good pressing which saw them score on the 31st minute through Eric Rutanga with a classy finish from Pierrot Kwizers’s pass.

In the 42nd minute, Police FC forward Eric Ngendahimana equalised with a powerful shot from 25 yards. Ivan Minneart’s men dominated the first half but a combination of wastefulness and good defending by Police denied them the opportunity to add to their tally.

A minute after recess, Tchabalala had a clear chance to hand Rayon the lead for the second time but his shot missed the target by a few inches. In the 55th minute, Rayon Sports coach made a triple substitution to reinforce the attack, Kevin Muhire came in for Yannick Mukunzi, Ismaila Diarra replaced Eric Irambona while François Master Mugisha made way for Djabel Manishimwe.

Despite the changes by Rayon Sport, Police were the better side making less defensive mistakes and tightened the midfield to stop Rayon Sport’s marauding midfielders.

Kevin Muhire’s thunderous strike 13 minutes from the end of the match was saved by Bwanakweli, minutes later striker Nsengiyumva had a chance to put Police ahead but his attempt missed the target.

Defender Fiston Munezero brought down Pierrot Kwizera in the box and the Blues were awarded a penalty in the 82nd minute, however striker Hussein ‘Tchabalala’ Shaban failed to convert after goalie Emmanuel Bwanakweli guessed correctly.

Goalkeeper Bwanakweli made six good saves to ensure the law enforcers walked away with a point, something that has seen them stretch their unbeaten run to five games.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Mukura bounced back from Etincelles 2-1 defeat to thump Miroplast 2-0, courtesy of goals from Christophe Ndayishimiye and Flank Lomami goals

After the disappointing draw, Rayon remained in third position with 44 points, four points adrift of second-placed AS Kigali and six points behind leaders APR. SC Kiyovu (41 points) and Police (40 points) complete top five.

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