Dar es Salaam – The South Sudan football representatives for the Cecafa club competion in Tanzania, Al Salaam FC were today defeated 7-0 by APR of Rwanda in their first major tournament competition in East Africa since independence.
The group’s humiliation came as APR impressively started the first half with goals by Lionel St Preus, Jean Baptist Mugireneza and striker Olivier Karekezi.
Although Al Salaam fought aggressively to score, their finishing was not convincing in front of the APR goal guarded by keeper Jean Claude Ndoli. Al Salaam’s good chance came in the second half when captain Khamis Leon hit the cross bar on unguarded goal after beating Ndoli.
The Rwandans took the advantage of the poor passings from Al Salaam and quick lost of possession and in the second half, St Preus added his second and Seleman Ndikumana also grabbing a brace with Barnabe Mubumbyi scoring another. Al Salaam’s night could have been made worst had it not been because of APR’s wastefulness at goal.
But coach Sebit Bol Chol was largely upbeat but lamented the inexperience of his players whom most of them are members of South Sudan police force
“Today, we showed how inexperienced we’re as a team and even to take our chances infront of the goal is becoming difficult. but these lads have what it takes to succeed. I believe from this performance, we will take something out of it and score goals in the next game”, Sebit said.
Chol’s opposite APR coach Ernest Brandy sympathised with Al Salaam saying for a country so young like this, experience is a problem. He added that the team need to get more games in order to become a force.
Al Salaam’s other group members in the competition include heavyweights such as Yanga FC of Tanzania who were the reigning cup winners and Atletico Olympique of Burundi. Both teams also played today with Atletico causing an upset by beating Yanga 2-0
Al Salaam of Wau qualified for this competition after winning in Bahar el Gazal province competition.
This year’s Cecafa is sponsored by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda (as it has been for the past years). The competition is comprised of 11-team Cecafa Clubs. The winner gets US$30,000 in price money and runner-up receives $20,000. The Competition is run from July 14 to 28.
The Upper Nile Times