Rwanda National Police Football Team defied all odds to lift their maiden Peace Cup title on Saturday night following their 1-0 late winner over rivals Rayon Sports at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.
Rayon Sports dominated the entire first half with goalie Emery Mvuyekure playing a pivotal role in the stands as he saved several attempts from strikers Peter Otema, Pierrot Kwizera, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Djihad Bizimana and Eric Irambona.
Coach Andre Cassa Mbungo was forced to make an early substitution as Gabriel Mugabo came in for right full back Mohamed Mpozembizi who was on the verge of securing a second yellow card of the game.
Rayon Sports goalie Eric Ndayishimiye had a busy second half with Police skipper Jacques Tuyisenge, Innocent Habyarimana and Idesbald Nshuti unleashing shots which the former kept at bay.
A poor tactical substitution from Rayon Sports Coach Jean Baptiste Kayiranga gifted the Cops who benefited from the absence of central defender Faustin Usengimana after he was replaced by upcoming striker Djabel Manishimwe, punishing the blues’ sloppy defense.
A last gasp-header from Eric Ngendahimana, beating the sloppy defense manned by James Tubane could not be halted by Ndayishimiye but went on to seal a first title for Police FC after 15 years of trials and tribulations.
Police FC Coach Mbungo said, “Rayon Sports had a fantastic first half and we took our time to learn their style of play and formation. We defended well and tactically we were on the positive note. We used our offensive players to do the job and good enough, we secured a late winner from their poor defending,”
“I am happy for my boys, they worked really hard and the victory is worth their sacrifice. It’s a big achievement for us after a challenging season,” said Police coach Andre Cassa Mbungo.
Police FC won the title and Rwf4m worth of cash prize while Rayon Sports pocked Rwf 2m with former champions APR FC bagging Rwf1m after defeating Isonga 5-0 in the third place playoff at the same venue, goal courtesy of striker Bernabe Mubumbyi who scored a hat trick and Patrick Sibomana who netted a brace.
Police FC will represent Rwanda in the 2016 CAF Confederations Cup.