Karekezi, Kagere clash in Peace Cup final
MTN Peace Cup Final
APR vs Police – 3pm (Amahoro Stadium)
Today’s MTN Peace Cup final between holders APR and Police should bring out the best in Olivier Karekezi and Meddie Kagere, two players who relish big matches.
Seeking to guide APR to their seventh Cup in 14 seasons, Karekezi will look to prove once again he is the man for the big occasion when he returns to Amahoro stadium, a ground where he has been prolific in recent years.
The Amavubi international hasn’t featured for APR since Rwanda’s 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers 2-0 defeat against Nigeria but has been passed fit for today’s encounter.
While the likes of Lionel St. Preux and Kabange Twite have stepped up to the plate in his absence, Ernie Brandts has no choice but to drop one of the two players to the bench.
In the build up to the final, a vibrant Karekezi said, “I’m glad to be back. Every player wants to play in a final and I can’t wait to get out there and help my team win.”
“Police is a very good side. I’m sure we have all seen this over the past two seasons and we definitely have a tough game on our hands,” he warned.
In Kagere, Police – bidding to win their first title in the club’s history-have a player who often saves his best displays for when it really matters.
Like Karekezi, Kagere is in buoyant mood ahead of the final.
“APR is a very experienced team with plenty of quality players but I believe it will boil down to the small details on the day, who gets the big decisions and who gets that stroke of luck,” the Police captain said.
“I don’t think there is much between the teams and I think it is a 50-50 game,” he added.
Kagere, who is playing his final game for Police, is desperate to give something back to his coach Goran Kopunovic.
The Serbian has transformed Police into a big four side and Kagere, who has been linked with a move to Tanzanian giants Yanga, believes the MTN Peace Cup will be a great reward for his effort.
“He’s been a revelation since he took over two seasons ago. He’s got a great rapport with the fans, a great understanding with the players and deserves a huge amount of credit for that,” he added.
Last year, APR had the better of Police as they ran out 4-2 winners to clinch their sixth Peace Cup.