Police FC defeated Rayon Sports 4-3 on penalties at Kigali Pele Stadium on Sunday, January 28, to book their place in the 2024 Heroes Cup final with APR FC.
Vincent Mashami’s side was on the brink of elimination when Heritier Luvumbu netted a stunning free kick in the 57th minute but Peter Agblevor rescued the law enforcers with an equalizer in the 67th minute to force the game into the penalty shootouts which Police won to qualify for the final.
From the blast of the whistle, both teams made some vital incursions to each other’s half as they sought for an early opener.
Agblevor, who was leading Police FC attack, was torn in the flesh of the Rayon Sports as he maintained his composure upfront any time he had the ball.
Rayon depended on midfielder Luvumbu who operated just behind Charles Bbaale.
There were decent chances in the first half but the defense and goalkeepers did their job to avoid conceding a goal until halftime.
Luvumbu broke the deadlock for the Blues with a fantastic free kick in the 57th before Police reacted quickly to equalize when Peter Agblevor restored parity in the 67th minute. It was his sixth goal against the Blues.
Both teams held their nerves as regulation time ended 1-1. Police sailed through after winning the shootouts 4-3.
Ndzila rescues APR
Police will face APR FC in the finals after the latter defeated Musanze FC 4-2 on penalties in the semi finals of the 2024 Heroes Cup.
APR and Musanze played out a 1-1 draw in regulation time before Pavelh Ndzila made heroic saves in the penalty shootouts to qualify his side to the final.
It took just six minutes for APR to find the opener through attacker Danny Ndikumana. The forward broke loose on the left and raced towards goal before being brought down by Shafiq Bakaki. Ndikumana stepped up and sent goalkeeper Gad Muhawenayo the wrong way to open his goal account since joining the army side in July 2023.
The army side’s front three of Danny Ndikumana, Yannick Bizimana and Ramadan Niyibizi caused danger in Musanze’s box but they struggled to score until Solomon Adeyinka found the back of Ndzila’s net for an equalizer in the 68th minute to bring Musanze back into the game.
Lethabo Methaba broke loose on the left and delivered a nice cross into the APR vital area, finding Adeyinka in the box as he opened up himself to hit the ball into the net to make it 1-1.
The goal further gave Musanze FC the needed confidence as they pushed for the second goal but the likes of Salomon Bidjeme and Fitina Omborenga kept Sosthen Habimana’s men at bay till full time as the teams headed for the decisive penalty shootouts which ended 4-2 in favor of APR.
Ndzila was the hero as he saved two of Musanze FC’s four penalties.
The men and women’s final matches of the Heroes Cup will take place on Thursday, February 1, at Kigali Pele Stadium.