RWANDAN LEAGUE champions Rayon Sports are on the verge of making history if they eliminate Congo outfit AC Léopards de Dolisie in today’s Caf Champions return leg at Amahoro National Stadium. Kick off time is 3:30pm
A win will push Rayon to the next stage of the competition. The first leg in Congo Brazzaville last Sunday ended in a goalless draw.
Tanzanian Israel Mujuni will be in charge of what promises to be a mouth-watering encounter between the two teams that go into the game each confident of a win.
Mujuni will be assisted by his countrymen; Josephats Deu Bulali as the first assistant ref, Samuel Hudson Mpenzu as the second assistant ref and Ramadhan Kibo Ibada as the fourth official.
Rayon Sports will be boosted by the massive home support, while the Congolese champions, who won the 2012 Caf Confederation Cup, will be hoping to ride on their superior experience.
This is a decisive game and none of the two teams would wish to squander the opportunity to win.
For the home team, it will be upon the likes of Meddie Kagere, Cédric Amissi and skipper Fuadi Ndayisenga to deliver the goods in-front of what will be a large but nervous crowd inside the 25000-seater Amahoro stadium.
Head coach Luc Eymael is going into one of the biggest and most important matches of his career, without the suspended goalkeeper Jean Luc Ndayishimiye and injured midfielder Alprodis Hategikimana.
But the Belgian, who only joined the Blues three weeks ago, has remained confident of his team’s chances to advance to the next round.
He called on the fans to rally behind the team throughout the match which could even be decided on penalty kicks in case the 90 minutes plus extra-time ends with score tied at 0-0. A 1-1 draw favours the away team.
“We have a chance but we have to work harder. We played a good game in the first leg and we are keen to repeat our performance in bid to secure a home victory. AC Léopards is a good team and we know they will give us a good fight,” he told Saturday Sport.
The former AFC Leopards of Kenya coach added, “We want a home win and fans should all flock the stadium in big numbers to help us attain this crucial victory. We have to make Rwandans proud and everyone inside the stadium should play a part.”
Confident AC Léopards
AC Léopards coach, Patrick Aussems admitted he was shocked by Rayon’s performance in the first leg and will be hoping to repeat the 2011 heroics when AC Léopards beat Rwanda’s Etincelles 2-0 in Kigali after a goalless draw at home in the Caf Confederation Cup qualifying round.
The 2012 Confederation Cup winners have their reputation to protect against the seven-time Rwandan champions, and coach Aussems believes the dream is achievable.
“We just have to work on our errors. We are still in the game and it will be a different ball game on an away turf. We can make it happen,” the Belgian said on Thursday, upon arrival in the country for today’s eagerly awaited clash.
Aussems, who pockets a reported $40,000 a month, noted, “If we play according to our strength and strategy, we will return back home victors. The quality of players I have at my disposal are ready for the task.”
Rayon Sports’ last continental appearance was back in 2005 when they were eliminated at the preliminary round by DR Congo’s Motema Pembe. The blues won 2-0 in Kigali before losing 3-0 away in Congo.