Deadly duo Sarpong and Ulimwengu sink Espoir as Rayon pile pressure on APR

With Thursday’s brace against Espoir, Michael Sarpong (#19) has scored 13 goals for Rayon Sports this season. / File

Rayon 4-0 Espoir
Musanze 1-0 Etincelles

Michael Sarpong and Jules Ulimwengu took their combined tally to 30 goals this season as they, each, scored a double during Rayon Sports’ 4-0 victory over Espoir on Thursday.

With the comfortable win at Kigali Stadium, over a side that is coached by the club’s former striker Saidi Abedi Makasi, Rayon Sports moved to within one point of leaders APR as the 2018/2019 Azam Rwanda Premier League goes into its final stretch. 

The defending champions, who were held 0-0 by SC Kiyovu on Tuesday, lead the table with 58 points, while Rayon, at 57, are in place with five match rounds to go.

Ghana-born striker Sarpong opened the scoring after 14 minutes, and it only took him five minutes to double the lead for the hosts. The first-half ended 2-0.

Roberto Oliveira’s side were in no settling-for-less mood on the night as they pushed for more goals after the break; and the efforts were not in vain; with Burundian youngster Ulimwengu, 19, scoring in the 52nd and 66th minutes to complete the rout.

Thanks to his brace on Thursday, Ulimwengu, who joined Rayon from archrivals Sunrise in January, beefed up his bid for the league’s golden boot as he leads the standings with 16, three ahead of joint first runners-up Michael Sarpong and APR forward Muhadjiri Hakizimana.

APR take on AS Kigali Friday, kick-off 3:30pm at Kigali Stadium, with failure to win leaving the leadership baton to Rayon Sports, should they overcome Police on Sunday.

Rayon are unbeaten in their last ten matches, and go into Sunday’s tie on the back of three consecutive victories against APR, AS Muhanga and Espoir.