Rayon Sports Vs Lydia Academic
(Amahoro Stadium, 15:30)
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Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi has set a target of making a ‘bright start’ against Burundi’s Lydia Ludic Académic in the first leg of the preliminary round of the 2018 CAF Champions League at Amahoro Stadium, today.
It will be a must win for the Blues against the Burundian champions to have chance of qualifying for the next round.
“Our focus is to win this game in the first leg, and beating Lydia Ludic will be another motivation for us heading into the second leg. We have prepared well and everyone looks fit to play,” said Karekezi.
The Burundian giants arrived in Kigali on Friday by road via the Namba border post in Bugesera District, Eastern Province.
They hope to snatch a win against Rayon Sports which is also keen on getting a good result in Kigali before the return leg in Bujumbura on February 21.
“We are ready and we have prepared for the game. We don’t fear Rayon Sports because we have better players…. so we came for three points,” Lydia Ludic Académic coach, Emmanuel ‘Mayele’ Bankuwiha said.
The team is staying at Hill Top Hotel in Remera and held their official training session on Friday at Amahoro Stadium.
Meanwhile, Karekezi will miss the services of new signings, Cameroonian Christ Mbondi and Ugandan Yassin Mugume in the preliminary round, but the pair could be a big boost in the next round as they will be cleared to put on the Blues jersey.
If Rayon Sports qualifies for the first round, they will have a mountain to climb against the 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
Rayon Sports were eliminated in the third round of CAF Confederation Cup last year, while APR were eliminated in the first round of qualifiers of CAF Champions League.
In the three times that Burundian teams have drawn Rwandan teams, they have managed to eliminate them on two occasions.
Vital’O eliminated APR FC in CAF Champions League and LLB eliminated Police FC in 2013 in the Confederation Cup while in 2014 AS Kigali eliminated Academie Tchite.
There are over 25 matches scheduled for the weekend in the first leg matches of the preliminary round. The second leg matches will take place next weekend with the winners advancing to the 1/16th round.
Meanwhile, holders Wydad Athletic Club of Motrocco, Al Ahly (Egypt), Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) have drawn a bye at the preliminaries.