Young Africans clash is a must-win – Rayon coach

Rutanga (left) runs after Gor Mahia’s captain Haron Shakava during their CAF Confederation Cup Group D match at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobo on Sunday. Courtesy.

Group D

Gor Mahia 1-2 Rayon Sports
Young Africans 2-1 USM Alger

RAYON SPORTS head coach Roberto Oliveira has saluted his players for ‘strong mentality and winning mindset’ after stunning Gor Mahia 2-1 in Nairobi on Sunday to restore their hope of reaching the quarter-finals of the 2018 Total CAF Confederation.

 

The Brazilian tactician also urged the players to remain humble and focused, arguing that the last group game, against Young Africans, in Kigali is far more important and must be a must-win for the Blues if they are to reach a historic last eight in the continental competition.

 

“We showed some good spirit in the first half and created chances, but failed to make good use of them – otherwise the score margin could have been bigger. In second half, we were remarkably the better side, especially in attack. It was a deserved win,” Oliveira said.

 

He added that, “We had studied their game. My players executed well our game plan, and delivered a great performance. I am happy for the work and character they showed.”

Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana scored as early as in the third minute to fire the visitors into an early lead before and former Kiyovu SC striker Francis Mustafa netted an equalizer in the 22nd minute. The two sides went into half-time tied 1-1.

“It is an important win for us, which means we are back in race for quarter finals after failure to win any of our last four games. Victory over Gor Mahia puts us in a good position depending on the outcome of the match between Gor Mahia and USM Alger in last day,” he said.

Left-back Eric Rutanga restored the lead for Rayon Sports with a fantastic free-kick eight minutes after recess, which the Blues would hold onto through the final whistle.

Rutanga also scored the equaliser, from free-kick, during the first-leg clash between the two Group D rivals in Kigali three months ago.

It was the first group win for Roberto Oliveira’s Rayon after struggling with three draws and one loss in their first four games.

After five match rounds, with one to go, the Blues are third with 6 points, two adrift of USM Alger and Gor Mahia who top the table but with the Kenyan side in number one spot thanks to a superior goal difference, with 8 points each.

Despite upsetting group favorites USM Alger 2-1 in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, Tanzania’s Young Africans are at the bottom of the group with four points and out of the race for the next stage.

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