AS Kigali 2-1 Pepiniere
Gicumbi FC 1-0 Amagaju
Espoir 0-0 Etincelles
Musanze FC 0-1 Rayon Sports
Even without head coach Djuma Masudi, national football league leaders Rayon Sports continued their impressive winning streak with a narrow 1-0 win at Musanze on Saturday to edge closer to the title.
The all-important goal was scored by Malian striker Tidiane Kone in the 62nd minute as the runaway leaders maintain their lead on top with 58 points. Rayon Sports need three more wins from the last seven matches to secure an eighth league title and the second in five seasons.
After the match played at Ubworoherane ground in Musanze, assistant coach Maurice ‘Maso’ Nshimiyimana was full of praise for his team, saying they showed ‘great character’ against the sixth-placed Musanze FC under former Rayon Sports players and coach Sosthene Habimana.
The game comes two weeks before the two teams meet in Peace Cup last 16. The last 16 will be played over two legs, starting on the weekend of May 10-11 while the second leg will be staged a week later.
“It was a tough game because we were up against a very tricky side that offered a lot and used their home advantage very well, but I am grateful to my players, they showed great character and sheer determination throughout the game,” said Nshimiyimana after Rayon’s 18th win in 23 league matches.
“The character the players exuded today show how focused they are in achieving the ultimate goal. I believe we can maintain this momentum in our remaining fixtures so that we achieve our target, which is winning the league title.”
The Peace Cup reigning champions went into this game following a tough week in which they were knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup and head coach Djuma Masudi was suspended by the club for a week.
Nshimiyimana also took charge of the Peace Cup last 32 round return leg clash against second division outfit Rugende FC, which they won 3-0 to progress to the last 16 on a 12-0 aggregate having won the first leg 9-0. Masudi is expected to return to work on Monday (today).
In other matches played on Saturday, AS Kigali edged relegation-bound Pepiniere FC 2-1 at Kigali Stadium to move level on 47 points with third-placed Police FC, who were due to face APR FC on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Godfroid Okoko’s second from bottom Gicumbi FC notched their fifth win of the season following a 1-0 win over visiting Amagaju FC at Stade de Gicumbi to move to within a point of 14th-placed Marines FC.