Marines vs APR FC 3:30pm
Espoir vs Etincelles
AS Kigali vs Miroplast
Sunrise vs Gicumbi
Amagaju vs Kirehe
Rayon Sports vs SC Kiyovu
Musanze vs Bugesera
SC Kiyovu will visit Rayon Sports on match-day 2 in the Azam Rwanda Premier League on Sunday at Kigali Stadium seeking to revenge for the defeat on the final day of last season.
The 2-1 defeat saw Kiyovu relegated to the second division for the first time in the club’s 53-year history but were handed a second chance to stay after promoted Isonga FC withdrew from participating in the topflight league.
By the time the two teams met at Mumena Stadium, Rayon Sports had already won the league but their old enemies, under interim coach Djabir Mutarambirwa, needed to win so badly to have any chance of avoiding the drop.
Bottom side Pepinieres FC, who had been relegated, did Kiyovu a big favour by beating fellow strugglers Gicumbi FC 3-1 in Gicumbi but the ‘Green Baggies’ failed in their mission.
But now that they got a second bite at the cherry, their new head coach Andre Casa Mbungo wants to have some sort of revenge against the champions.
Last season, under Djuma Masudi, Rayon Sports defeated SC Kiyovu twice—2-0 in the first round and 2-1 in the second round.
Rayon Sports are also under a new head coach Olivier Karekezi, who will be desperate to get off the mark having drawn 1-1 against AS Kigali in the league opener a fortnight ago.
Kiyovu won the opening game of the season 1-0 against Musanze FC and will be hoping to make it two wins in a row for the first time in close to a year, yet Mbungo doesn’t seem bothered by the prospect of facing the defending champions, whom many pundits are favouring to retain the title.
“For me, this is a normal game, I have been in the league long enough to know that every game matters the same as it offers the same number of points, so we can’t approach a particular game in a special way,” Mbungo told Saturday Sport.
He noted that, “In my (coaching) career, I have faced Rayon Sports on so many occasions, and I have won some and lost a couple, so Saturday will not be any different, we shall go into the game with an aim to win.”
However, the former Sec Academy, AS Kigali and Police FC coach admits that, “Playing against our bitter rivals, I can understand why our supporters would want to win (against Rayon) probably more than any other team.”
“We want to start the game on a high level with pressing and looking for an early goal, but at the same time we have to defend well because we know the quality of the opponent, they can hurt you at any given moment, we have prepared well and hopefully, we will have our revenge,” Mbungo added.
SC Kiyovu will still miss midfielder Rachid Kalisa, who is yet to get the license to play in the league while Rayon will be without striker Ismalla Diarra, also yet to get his International Transfer Certificate from Motema Pembe of DR Congo as well as midfielder Kevin Muhire, who has been missing at the club’s training for about three weeks.
Rayon Sports’ coach Karekezi has had good statistics since taking over from Masudi, who resigned after winning the league. Karekezi won three pre-season competitions including Agaciro Development Fund tournament, FEZA Bet Cup and Super Cup, and collected a total Rwf15m in prize money.
The former APR and Amavubi skipper will be looking to win the first game in the league after drawing against AS Kigali in the opening match.
“Kiyovu are in good form and have an experienced coach. They did well in their opening match, so we must give our best if we’re to win the game on Sunday. However, we are a winning team and I do trust my players to do a better job against any team,” Karekezi said.
He added, “We have to go with time, we want to be at the top in everything on the field. On paper, we have quality players and a better team but we will have to prove that on the field. It is a game we want to win to avoid early pressure, especially from our fans, who demand winning in every game.”
This will be the 47th competitive meeting between the two sides in the past 21 years. In the 43 times they have met in the league, Rayon Sports have won 24 compared to just five wins for SC Kiyovu, while the 14 matches have ended in draws.
Meanwhile, by the time Rayon Sports, who are 9th in the table, get into action, they could find themselves five points behind their arch-rivals APR FC, who take on Marines on Saturday at Umuganda Stadium in Rubavu.
APR head coach Jimmy Mulisa will be up against his former assistant, Yves Rwasamanzi, who took over as Marines’ head coach last month.
APR will be without new signings Fitina Ombalenga and Abouba Sibomana—Ombalenga has not yet got clearance from SC Kiyovu to allow him play for the army side, while Sibomana is nursing a knee injury, which he sustained playing for Rayon Sports last season.
APR FC got their bid for a record-extending 17th league title, off to a winning start, beating Sunrise FC 2-0 in their season opener while Marines won 2-1 against newly promoted Miroplast FC.
After drawing against champions Rayon Sports in the first match, AS Kigali will host Miroplast at Kigali Stadium.
Sunrise FC will be up against Godfroid Okoko’s Gicumbi FC, who won their league opener against Espoir while Amagaju which beat Bugesera two weeks ago, will be up against Kirehe at Nyagisenyi ground.
League leaders Amagaju FC travel to Rusizi to take on Espoir at Stade Kamarampaka on Saturday.
Team PD W D L Pts
Amagaju 1 1 0 0 3
Etincelles 1 1 0 0 3
APR FC 1 1 0 0 3
Gicumbi 1 1 0 0 3
Marines 1 1 0 0 3
Mukura 1 1 0 0 3
Kiyovu 1 1 0 0 3
AS Kigali 1 0 1 0 1
Rayon Sports 1 0 1 0 1
Espoir 1 0 0 1 0
Miroplast 1 0 0 1 0
Kirehe FC 1 0 0 1 0
Musanze 1 0 0 1 0
Bugesera 1 0 0 1 0
Police FC 1 0 0 1 0
Sunrise 1 0 0 1 0
Kambale Salita Etincelles 2
Benjamin Tuyishime Marines 2
Muhadjir Hakizimana APR FC 1
Bertrand Iradukunda Police FC 1
Ibrahim Niyonsenga Etincelles 1