Rivers United vs Rayon Sports 3pm
Rayon Sports’ full back Abouba Sibomana has revealed that the Rwanda Peace Cup holders will handle the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round first leg game against Nigeria’s Rivers United as if their lives depended on it.
The Blues will take on the Nigeria Professional Football League side this Sunday at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt before hosting the return leg on April 22 at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali.
The winner of the tie will qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup group stages and not Champions League as reported in yesterday’s story.
Djuma Masudi, who is aiming to become the first coach to qualify a Rwandan club to the continent’s second biggest club competition later stages, took a squad of 18 players to Port Harcourt where they will be seeking to get a positive result before finishing the job in Kigali. The team left Kigali on Friday morning.
Rwanda international Sibomana, who rejoined Rayon in January from Kenya’s Gor Mahia, is one of the most experienced defenders that Masudi travelled with to Nigeria.
Before jetting off to Nigeria, Sibomana told Saturday Sport that they’re treating the first leg encounter as if their lives depended on it and that they’re determined to give it their best shot as they seek a place in the group stages for the first time in the club’s history.
“We are all focused on the first leg match, no one is thinking of the return leg, only this game will either give us a possibility to advance or deny us depending on the result, so we have to give out all we can to keep the chances live before the return leg,” said the 28-year-old star.
With a continuous slump in their local league, Rivers United will also be keen to improve their fortunes in the CAF Confederation Cup, in which they are appearing for the first time.
Sibomana added, “We know how they are struggling at home and makes it even hard because their concentration is now on doing well in this competition, so we shall have to play cautiously and avoid giving them a headway.”
Meanwhile, Masudi will be without three of his key players including; central defenders Abdoul Rwatubyaye (who is yet to get CAF license), Ange Mutsinzi (suspension) as well as Shassir Nahimana (illness).
Rayon Sports squad:
Jean Luc ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye, Evariste Mutuyimana, Thierry Manzi, Fisto Munezero, Eric Irambona, Gaby Mugabo, François Mugisha, Abouba Sibomana, Pierrot Kwizera, Fabrice Mugeni, Olivier Niyonzima, Savio Dominique Nshuti, Nova Bayama, Djabel Imanishimwe, Kevin Muhire, Moustapha Nsengiyumva, Tidiane Koné and Moussa Camara
Djuma Masudi (head coach), Maurice Maso Nshimiyimana and Marcel Lomami (assistant coaches), Claude Manirakiza (goalkeepers coach). Olivier Gakwaya (head of delegation).