Rayon Sports assistant captain Pierrot Kwizera has warned his teammates not to underestimate Young Africans – also known as Yanga – despite a poor run of results and off-the-field troubles that have dogged the Tanzanian giants in recent weeks.
The two sides clash Wednesday at the 60,000-seater Tanzania National Stadium in their second Group D game in CAF Confederation Cup.
Each side needs a win to bolster their chances of reaching the next stage.
The Tanzanian champions are winless in their last seven matches and suffered an away 4-0 mauling at the hands of Group D leaders USM Alger of Algeria.
In their first match, Rayon shared the spoils with Gor Mahia of Kenya, the two sides drawing 1-1at Kigali stadium.
Speaking to Times Sport yesterday, 27-year old star midfielder Kwizera, who joined Rayon Sports from Tanzania’s Simba three years ago, said the Blues can win tomorrow’s tie against Young Africans but warned his teammates not to be fooled by the hosts’ current troubles.
“If we are to stay in the chase for a ticket to the quarterfinals, the game against Yanga (Young Africans) is basically a must-win for us. It is important that we collect all of the three points.” Kwizera said, before noting that “despite Young Africans’ ongoing problems, you cannot afford to underestimate them.”
Yanga, having surrendered their Tanzanian league title to rivals Simba, have lately been battling a series of challenges, including poor results on the pitch and a player protest over unpaid dues.
Rayon left for Dar es Salaam yesterday after holding their final training session at Amahoro National Stadium.
Head coach Ivan Minneart’s team are due to hold light training session in Dar Tuesday morning.
Full 18-player squad
Goalkeepers: Kassim Ndayisenga and Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye
Defenders: Thierry Manzi, Eric Irambona, Ange Mutsinzi, Gabriel Mugabo and Saddam Nyandwi
Midfielders: François ‘Master’ Mugisha, Pierrot Kwizera, Eric Rutanga, Yassin Mugume and Djabel Manishimwe.
Forwards: Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana, Hussein Tchabalala Shaban, Ismaila Diarra and Yannick Mukunzi