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Matano sets sight on title after opening day win

Ulinzi Stars players line up before their match against APR. PHOTO/COURTESY
Ulinzi Stars players line up before their match against APR. PHOTO/COURTESY

KIGALI, Rwanda, Aug 8- Ulinzi Stars head coach Robert Matano is confident that his boys can wrestle back the East Africa Military Games title after their opening day 1-0 win over holders and hosts Rwanda’s APR.

The Kenya Defense Forces side began their title hunt on a positive note, with defender Mohammed Hassan banging the solitary goal home from close range in the 9th minute after the Rwandese failed to clear a corner.

“We are here to win the title, nothing else. That is why we came. We wanted to start strongly and I am pleased that we won our opening match against a very strong APR side. They have very fast strikers and wingers and gave us a lot of headache,” Matano said after the match.

The hosts who had just lost one of their most dependable players Emery Bayisenge who left for a stint in Morocco paraded an equally strong and experienced side with AFC Leopards target Emmanuel Imanishimwe also featuring.

This was his first game for APR since his transfer love triangle pitting his former club Rayon Sport, APR and Leopards.

Others who featured for APR include national team players Faustin Usengimana, Imran Nshimiyimana, Patrick Sibomana, Yannick Mukunzi, Michel Rusheshangoga and Innocent Habyarimana.

Ulinzi will have three days to rest before playing their next match against Tanzania, a side that held them to a barren draw last year in Uganda.

Skipper James Saruni who had a great game being on toes throughout the match against APR has called on his team mates to continue in the same momentum on Friday as they eye a record sixth regional title.