Nigeria is our biggest obstacle, says Rwanda hoops captain
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Rayon Sports Vs APR FC 3:30pm
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Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi is aiming for victory against his former club APR FC in the rescheduled Azam Rwanda Premier League fixture on Sunday at Amahoro National Stadium.
The sides are separated by just one point in third and sixth positions – hosts Rayon Sports are third with 18 points, after five wins, three draws and two losses while record sixteen-time league champions APR are in sixth place with 17 points after four wins, five draws and one defeat.
SC Kiyovu lead the table with 23 points, two ahead of second-placed AS Kigali, but five ahead of Rayon Sports and APR, who have both placed one game less. Espoir and Miloplast occupy the two relegation spots with 9 and 8 points respectively.
There is no love lost whenever APR take on Rayon Sports, and Sunday’s match-day 10 clash will not be any different from the past encounters.
Both teams are in high mood after reaching the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup and Champions League respectively. APR FC eliminated Anse Reunion FC of the Seychelles and Burundi’s Lydia Ludic Académic.
“We are the defending champions and will go into the game on Sunday ahead of APR in the league table standing, so you could say we’re in a good position to face them, but we also know it’s going to be tough because they will come looking to win,” Karekezi told Saturday Sport.
Former APR and Amavubi captain added that, “We have qualified for the next round of CAF Champions League, it is a good motivation for us and we will go into the game looking for nothing less than a win so as to close the gap on Kiyovu at the top of the table.”
“The players know the task ahead and the challenge we’re faced with, so motivation won’t be a problem, we are ready for the game and our aim is to win,” the 34-year-old rookie coach explained.
Since joining Rayon Sports this season, Karekezi has managed to beat his former teammate and good friend, Jimmy Mulisa twice in four meetings, while the later has managed one win and one draw.
Karekezi’s two victories included the 1-0 win in Agaciro Development Cup and 2-0 triumph in the Super Cup while Mulisa’s APR side beat their arch-rivals on final day of this year’s Heroes Cup.
It will be the 85th official match in all competitions between the two teams and the 46th league meeting since 1995. APR have managed 34 wins against Rayon Sports’ 23 while 27 games have ended in draws.
However, APR will be without key midfield players Andrew Buteera and Djihad Bizimana through injury and suspension, respectively.
Team PD W D L Pts
SC Kiyovu 11 7 2 2 23
AS Kigali 11 6 3 2 21
Rayon 10 5 3 2 18
Police FC 11 5 3 3 18
Sunrise 11 5 3 3 18
APR FC 10 4 5 1 17
Etincelles 11 4 5 2 16
Mukura 11 3 6 2 15
Marines 11 3 4 4 13
Amagaju 11 3 3 5 12
Gicumbi 11 3 2 6 11
Musanze 10 2 4 4 10
Kirehe Fc 11 3 1 7 10
Bugesera 11 2 4 5 10
Espoir 11 1 6 4 9
Miroplast 10 1 5 4 8