Fatigue cost us against Etincelles, says Rayon coach

Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi has admitted that lack of strength in squad depth cost his team in the defeat against Etincelles at Umuganda Stadium on Wednesday.
Rayon Sports' Malian striker Tidiane Kone battles with Etincelles' players during the league match on Wednesday, which the Blues lost 1-0. Courtesy
Rayon Sports' Malian striker Tidiane Kone battles with Etincelles' players during the league match on Wednesday, which the Blues lost 1-0. Courtesy

Today
Miroplast vs Rayon Sports 3:30pm
Police FC vs Sunrise FC

Wednesday
Etincelles 1-0 Rayon Sports
Mukura VS 2-0 Gicumbi FC

Rayon Sports head coach Olivier Karekezi has admitted that lack of strength in squad depth cost his team in the defeat against Etincelles at Umuganda Stadium on Wednesday.

Etincelles shocked the league defending champions 1-0, thanks to Claude Saiba Mumbere’s lone goal in the 83rd minute. However, Mumbere will miss the next fixture against SC Kiyovu after receiving a third yellow card of the season.

“We have a small squad, which cost us for sure. We didn’t play well because my players looked tired after playing a third match in a week, and at the other end, Etincelles had one chance and used it well,” Karekezi said.

The defeat keeps Rayon Sports, who have a game in hand, fifth with 14 points, three behind joint leaders AS Kigali and SC Kiyovu, while Etincelles moved up to 6th place with 13 points from nine matches.

Former APR and Amavubi captain Karekezi noted that, “We went there to win the game but we failed. In the first half, we struggled a bit due to tired legs but in the second half, we played better but one mistake cost us.”

Karekezi, who was looking for a third win in a row, was missing several key players due to injuries, including defender Thierry Manzi (ankle), midfielder Olivier ‘Seif’ Niyonzima (shoulder), while Shassir Nahimana and Pierrot Kwizera missed the game after arriving in the country late on Tuesday from CECAFA Challenge Cup with Burundi.

Rayon Sports finished the game with ten players after forward Djabel Manishimwe received a straight red in 90+10th minute for elbowing Etincelles’ Hakim Tuyisenge.

Etincelles coach, Emmanuel Ruremesha, whose team drew with Rayon Sports in both league encounters last season, said, “It was a balanced game, both teams had chances to win it but thank God, it is us who did. We played well and overall, we were the better team.”

“This is an important victory for us because we have done well in the last couple of games. Today, we have really worked hard, and even though we didn’t dominate Rayon Sports completely, but we used the one good chance that we got,” explained the former Rayon Sports coach.

Rayon Sports will return to action on Friday playing against 15th-placed Mirolplast FC at Miroko ground, while on the same day, fourth-placed Police FC will host Sunrise FC at Kicukiro Stadium.

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