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Rayon vs APR Rwandan Classico

There will be a renewal of rivalry at Kigali Stadium on Saturday afternoon, December 17, when reigning champions APR Fc visit perennial rivals Rayon Sports in the biggest match of the Rwanda Premier League match.Rayon vs APR Rwandan Classico

Arguably the biggest clubs in Rwandan football, the pair will be eager to take their domestic rivalry to another level when they lock horns in the first leg, kick off 3pm.

Besides hunger for the first league title since 2019, Rayon Sports will be out to avenge and end their three-year winless streak against the army side.

Both sides are separated with four points with Rayon Sports leading the table with 28 points, four ahead the third-place APR with 24 points.

While a win would see the military side close the gap to one point, winning the derby would also help the “Blues” place themselves in a comfort zone before the league takes a break.

Rayon Sports last beat APR FC on April 20, 2019, while the last encounter between the two teams ended in favor of the military side as their 2-1 win in the Peace Cup semi-finals on May 19, 2022, saw them progress to the final.

APR are slowly bouncing back from their torrid start to the season and will be looking to build on their recent 2-0 win over Rutsiro and maintain their form ahead of their test against a Rayon side that is looking to put their 3-2 shock defeat against Etincelles aside ahead of the derby.

Francis Haringingo’s outfit has so far won eight league matches, lost three times and drew once while APR registered six victories, lost once and drew six times.

APR FC are chasing a record-extending 21st title while Rayon is eyeing a tenth league title overall.

Past matches

Since 1995, both sides have met 96 times in official matches with APR winning 42, Rayon Sports won 29, whilst 25 others ended in stalemates.

2017 saw the pair meet five times, the most they ever met in a single year.

APR FC won two games as they defeated Rayon 1-0 in a league clash on January 21, before beating them again 1-0 two weeks later to win the Heroes Cup final.

Rayon Sports also won two important games in the same year and both earned them trophies. They first beat the military side 1-0 on September 16 to be crowned Agaciro competition champions before another huge 2-0 victory in the Super Cup final saw the Blues secure their second silverware in one week.

Based on the recent records between the two sides, APR are well positioned ahead of Rayon as the military side remains unbeaten since 2019.

Goals galore

The clash between the two giants always produces all sorts of entertainment and talking points on and off the field.

A total 256 goals have been scored in all those matches with APR FC scoring the highest number of goals -134 compared to Rayon Sport’s 122.

APR FC players and supporters will never forget and still struggle to digest the 4-1 humiliation of Rayon Sports on August 18, 2001, one of their heaviest defeats in the derby’s history.

The defeat cost the military side the league title as they finished the race trailing one point behind Rayon’s 61.

Former national team forward Jimmy Gatete, who played for both sides, holds the record for scoring the most goals in the derby between the two sides – scoring four goals for either club.

Former Rayon Sports coach Djuma Masudi and current Espoir forward Issa Bigirimana remain APR’s top scorers in the derby where they scored five goals each while Jerome Sina has the most goals to his name in the derby for Rayon Sports, having scored six in the derby.

Ugandan international Kasirye Davis remains the only player who has managed to score a hat trick in the Rwandan derby. Kasirye snatched a hat-trick for Rayon during the 2015/2016 in a game where Rayon Sport routed APR Fc 4-0 in May 2016.

Former players like Rayon’s Jerome Sina, Gentil Salita Kambale (Papy Kamanzi) and Labama Bokota as well as APR’s St Preux Lionnel, Farouk Ruhinda, Ndjoli Bokungu and Muhadjiri Hakizimana, each managed to score two goals in a derby.

Ex-Rayon Sports coach Raoul Shungu holds a record of 16 matches in the Rwandan derby in which he won seven and lost four while five games ended in a draw.

Despite their rivalry, APR and Rayon exchange players. The likes of Isaac Rayon’s Isaac Mitima and Abdul Rwatubyaye (injured) and APR’s Djabel Manishimwe, Yannick Bizimana, Clement Niyigena and Gilbert Mugisha have played for both teams.

Besides playing the bragging rights, the game goes a long way in deciding the future of the coaches of either side.

The military side supporters will hope to see their team end the derby victorious and stand a chance to close the gap at the top of the table. otherwise a win for the Blues would see them restore their lead and hence open a seven-points lead ahead of their rivals.

Rayon vs APR  Rwandan Classico
Rayon vs APR Rwandan Classico

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