Esperance vs Police 3:30pm
Mukura vs AS Muhanga
Espoir vs Etincelles
Amagaju vs AS Kigali
Marines vs APR
Gicumbi vs Rayon Sports
SC Kiyovu vs Musanze
SECOND from bottom Esperance will be seeking to upset title contenders Police FC when the national football league second round resumes today at Mumena stadium.
Esperance, with just seven points in 13 matches played this season, along with bottom side Amagaju are likely to be relegated to the second division unless one or both of them do something about their current form between now and end of the season.
However, after a month’s break, Esperance FC’s head coach Camarade Banamwana believes his team can still survive the drop but only if they start winning. Esperance has to stop Police’s quest despite being their biggest challengers for maximum points today.
The Kimisagara-based club lost 1-2 to Sam Ssimbwa’s side in the first round, but Banamwana is convinced his youthful side can have their revenge.
“It will be a tough match but we are optimistic, we will be going for a win. I have told the players that we must double our effort in the second round if we are to avoid relegation,” Banamwana told Saturday Sport.
As for Police, who are six points behind the leaders APR, a win today would push them closer to the top teams and further increase their hopes in the title race.
Ssimbwa will be boosted by his lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge, who has scored 7 league goals, two behind top scorer Wai Yeka of Musanze FC.
Elsewhere today, Mukura, who started the season as one of the sides tipped to contend for the title, but find themselves closer to the relegation zone, host AS Muhanga at Stade de Muhanga in Muhanga district.
Cedric Kaze’s side is placed ninth with 13 points in 13 matches. They face fellow strugglers AS Muhanga, who are 12th with nine points, two points adrift of bottom side Amagaju.
Kaze said, “I think we have had enough time to prepare and address the mistakes that cost us valuable points in the first round. Muhanga are a good team and we will not take them lightly.”
AS Muhanga will miss the services of striker Nasser Irakoze, defender Franck Mackengo and goalkeeper Jumaine Hassan, who are all suspended this weekend.
However, Coach Abdul Bizimungu will be boosted with the new signings; midfielder Eric Yirirwahandi and Abouba Nshimiyimana.
Leaders, APR will be looking to maintain their grip on top spot when they visit Marines FC, who are in eleventh position with nine points, at Umuganda stadium in Rubavu.
The record 13-times league champions will miss the services of defender Michel Rusheshangoga, while Marines will find it tough after losing four of their first choice players due to suspension.
Four of the players include; Abouba Bashunga, Eric Nzitonda, Jean D’amour Munyabuhoro and Egide Ngoga.
In Rusizi, Espoir hosts Etincelles without suspended Isiaka Nahimana and Miradji Rwanyabahara, while Amagaju host Confederation Cup hopefuls AS Kigali in Nyamagabe.
On Sunday, defending champion Rayon Sports face Gicumbi FC in Gicumbi for their first game without French coach Didier Gomes da Rosa, who quit early this week. Team manager Thierry Hitimana and assistant coach Billy Musakombi will be in charge of Rayon Sports.
Wai Yeka Musanze 9
Jacques Tuyisenge Police 7
Cedric Amissi Rayon Sports 6
Julius Bakabulindi Kiyovu 6
Arafat Bahame Etincelles 5
CLUB PD W D L Pts
APR 13 9 3 1 30
Rayon Sports 13 9 1 3 28
AS Kigali 13 8 2 3 26
Police FC 13 7 3 3 24
Espoir 13 6 6 1 24
SC Kiyovu 13 6 4 3 22
Musanze 13 6 4 3 22
Etincelles 13 3 8 2 17
Mukura 13 4 1 8 13
Gicumbi 13 3 3 7 12
Marines 13 2 3 8 9
AS Muhanga 13 2 3 8 9
Esperance 13 2 1 9 7
Amagaju 13 1 4 8 7
Esperance stare relegation in face