Enyimba expected in Kigali Friday ahead of Rayon clash

Burundian striker Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana was the lone scorer as Rayon Sports beat Young Africans 1-0 to reach the last eight of the CAF Confederation Cup. Sam Ngendahimana.

Sunday

Rayon Vs Enyimba

Nigerian champions Enyimba FC will arrive in Kigali on Friday night ahead of the much awaited encounter against Rwanda’s Rayon Sports in the two sides’ first-leg clash of their last eight tie in the ongoing 2018 Total CAF Confederations Cup.

According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the two-time African champions will land at Kigali International Airport at 9PM aboard a RwandAir flight from Lagos.

The eight-time Rwandan champions secured slot to quarter-finals of the continent’s second biggest club competition last month after finishing second, with nine points, in Group B. Out of six games played in the four-team group; Rayon won two, drew three, and lost one, respectively.

The Blues stormed the round of last eight alongside Algerian giants USM Alger who topped Group B with 11 points. Kenyan champions Gor Mahia (8 points) and Tanzania’s Young Africans (4 points) were the other two group members. They both bowed out.

Enyimba, who are competing in the Confederation Cup for a second time following the 2010 debut, are on the hunt to end their continental jinx as they bid for a first title in CAF competitions since the 2004 CAF Champions League triumph.

The Nigerian outfit set date with Roberto Oliveira’s side after finishing top of Group C, with 12 points, ahead of the Republic of Congo’s CARA Brazzaville with 9 points.

Rayon Sports – road to quarter-finals

Meanwhile, Rayon Sports have beefed up preparations at the club’s training base in Nzove as they aim to pull off yet another stunning performance to reach the last four.

It will be the first time that Rayon and Enyimba meet in any competition.

The ‘Blues’ dropped out of this year’s Caf Champions League from the first round, to join the second-tier club competition following a 2-0 loss on aggregate to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Prior to facing the South African powerhouse, Rayon had knocked-out Burundian side Lydia Ludic Burundi Académic in the preliminary round.

Rayon Sports defeated Mozambique’s Costa do Sol 3-2 in the playoffs round, to reach the group stage in any CAF competition for a historic first time.

After only managing to collect three points from their first four group games, Rayon Sports defied all the odds to register two important victories – an away 2-1 victory over Gor Mahia and a 1-0 home win over Young Africans to sail through to quarter-finals.

While Rayon had three points after four games, in Group D, USM Alger and Gor Mahia topped the table standings with 8 points, each.

Hopefuls Rayon welcome Usman Abdullah’s side for the first-leg at Kigali Stadium on Sunday before visiting the Nigerian giant for the return-leg a week later.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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