Police FC (Rwanda) 0-0 Atletico FC (Burundi) – Police wins 9-8 on post match penalties
Rwanda’s Police FC stormed the semis of this year’s CECAFA Kagame Cup thanks to a dramatic penalty shootout after a goalless 90 minutes in an entertaining match played at Kigali regional stadium, Nyamirambo.
Goalie Marcel Nzarora was the hero for the home side as he saved two and scored the winner in the sudden death kick out after the mandatory five ended in a draw.
The game started on a high with each side looking to take an early lead. Atletico showed the first intent and Alexis Kitenge Hakimana almost gave them a fourth minute lead only to be denied by a post.
Five minutes later, Police FC’s Jacques Tuyisenge forced a good save from goalie Akimana Emedi Kandolo. The striker beat an offside trap off the centre line but his shot was parried by Kandolo.
In the 11th minute, Jimmy Mbaraga tried his luck from a distance and his shot hit the base of the post after Kandolo was already beaten.
It was Atletico’s turn to threaten in the 19th minute but Noah Hakimana’s feeble shot from the edge of the 18 yard box area after a good interchange of passes amongst the players in light blue ended Marcel Nzarora’s safe pair of hands.
There was little action after this as both sides opted to play cautiously and attack on the counter. However, on the half hour mark, Police FC left fullback Mwemere Ngirishuti had a well taken shot saved by Kandolo.
Both teams were forced into early substitutions with Imran Nshiyimana forced for Eric Ngendahimana in the 27th minute for Police while skipper Francis Nongwe was subbed for Ramadhan Niragira nine minutes later.
With the first half ending goalless, Police FC came out all guns blazing and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 52nd minute but captain Moussa Mutuyimana shot wide from close range.
Sina Jerome had a good shot on target four minutes later but was denied by Kandolo who tipped his shot over the bar for a corner.
From the resultant corner, Fabrice Twagizimana had shot well dealt with by Kandolo who had a busy day at office.
Sina Jerome had another opportunity in the 65th minute but shot wide and wild from close range.
Atletico’s first clear cut chance after recess fell to Kitenge Alex in the 68th minute. He beat the offside trap on the half way line but he was too slow to react as goalie Nzarora cleared danger with his entire backline beaten.
Police FC coach Cassa Andre Mbugo withdrew the ineffective Kipson Atuheire for Moussa Habimana and Mwemere Ngirishuti while his opposite number Cedric Kaze took off danger man Tresor Akimana and Hakizimana Kitenge for Fiston Nzomukunda and Ramadhan Niragira respectively but there was no change to the score line leaving penalty shootout to decider the winner of the tie.
In the shootout, Police scored through Jacques Tuyisenge, Sina Jerome, Moussa Habimana, Eric Ngendahimana, Fabrice Twagizimana, Peter Kagabo, Gabriel Mugabo, Moussa Mutuyimana and goalie Marcel Nzarora while Fredrick Ndaka and Jimmy Mbaraga missed.
On the side of Atletico, Noah Akimana, Patient Muhuza, Ramadhan Niragira, Zacharie Hakizimana, Hassan Bukuru, Tonton Hakizimana, Hassan Hakizimana and Issa Dieduonne while Fiston Nzomukunda and man of the match Kandolo Emedi Akimana missed.
Police FC will now meet the winner between Rayon Sport and APR FC who face off later today.