Battle of tactics in APR-Rayon show down

When Rayon Sports hosts their archrivals APR this afternoon in the National Football League at Amahoro stadium, it will be a showcase of playing styles.
APR players celebrate after defeating Rayon Sports 2-1 in the first round. (File)
APR players celebrate after defeating Rayon Sports 2-1 in the first round. (File)

National Football League (Today)
Rayon Sports vs APR 3:30pm (Amahoro Stadium)

When Rayon Sports hosts their archrivals APR this afternoon in the National Football League at Amahoro stadium, it will be a showcase of playing styles.

The Blues known for using the flanks and crossing the ball into the box from the wings will be trying to penetrate the APR defense which has been solid conceding just seven goals in 15 games, the lowest so far this season.

Rayon Sports’ Interim head coach Sosthene Habimana told Times Sport that, “We are without Karim Nizigiyimana and Abouba Sibomana who signed for Gor Mahia last month so we shall try to suit our playing style with the players we have. We want to maintain the way we have played for years because it is our identity.”

The central defense pairing of Emery Bayisenge and Ismael Nshutiyamagara has time and again been a rock in the army side’s success over the past two seasons and this will once again come to life today especially against their arch rivals.

Right back Michel Rusheshangoga’s contribution in both attack and defense has always been a challenge to opponents because the youngster boasts of enviable ability to make good decision making coupled with agility.

With Rayon Sports fielding two physical strikers in Isaac Muganza and Peter Otema whose mobility has been extraordinary so far, the APR defense is expected to be on their toes if they are to emerge victorious.

In the first round, Nshutiyamagara netted in the first minute of the game and this disrupted the Blues’ playing style thereafter, a feat Rayon Sports wants to avoid today.

A lot has changed for both sides since then as the then-absent Rayon Sports captain Fuadi Ndayisenga will be available for team selection today and his creativity will be put to test with the alert Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza who will be functioning in front of Bayisenge and Nshutiyamagara.

APR’s youthful striking duo of Michel Ndahinduka and Issa Bigirimana will be put to test against a tall and domineering central defense partnership of Faustin Usengimana and Emmanuel Imanishimwe.

Ndahinduka and Bigirimana’s success will however, depend on the creativity of the experienced Jean Claude Iranzi, Andrew Buteera and Djamal Mwiseneza, the ex-Rayon Sports winger who will be seeking double victory over his former employers.