URA 2-0 Miembeni
APR 0-2 Simba
Tusker v Rayon Sport (1pm)
Yanga v Vital’O (3pm)
DAR ES SALAAM-1998 East and Central Africa Club champions Rayon return to action today afternoon for a tricky quarter-final match against Kenya’s Tusker.
But defending champions, APR are out of the tournament after going down 2-0 in yesterday’s second quarter-final game against home side Simba.
Orji Obina and Musa Hassan were on target for the six-time winners. APR’s goalkeeper Aime Ndizeye was sent off midway the first half.
Rayon, who were on the blink of exit after a 4-1 defeat at hands of URA, finished second in group B after defeating Ethiopia’s Awassa 2-0 in their last group game on Saturday hence a chance to continue.
Despite the absence of team’s much feared goal-getter Lamaba Bokota, Rayon will not stage less brilliant performance in a bid to end their 10-year regional title drought against four-time champions Tusker.
The international striker, whose absence has been missed by the team, is reported to be trading his skills in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Other players left out of the squad included Ugandan born defender Shaka Okello, Philip Gasana, Nedved Karekezi and goalkeeper Alexis Mugabo.
Kaslia Kase, who was earlier on reported also to be in DRC, is expected to play a central role if Rayon is to stun former APR coach Jacob Mulee’s team.
The Rwandan international showed how good he could be on a big stage by orchestrating Rayon’s defeat of Awassa.
He should not have any problem getting some service to Jimmy Gatete and Jean Lomami up-front.
“We know they (Tusker) are a very competitive team, one of those teams that we will have to give our all to beat,” said coach Raoul Shungu, before adding, “We are all together as a team. Moral is high in the team and I believe we can get past them.”
On the other hand, Rayon Sport can also call on the services of new signings Roger Kakoko (AS New Soger) and Hussein Meka (Vita club) to stability in midfield if Jimmy Kidega and Albert Nyumbayire fail to perform.
Rayon will definitely find Tusker a bigger challenge compared to Awassa City. They will thus need to be in tiptop form if they want to progress.
In the first quarter-final, Uganda Revenue Authority beat Miembeni 2-0 to book a place in the semifinal.