AS Kigali players cautioned not to take Gicumbi lightly

AS Kigali defender Omar Ngandu, seen here in action against Sunrise in a past league match, was pivotal in his team’s victories against Bugesera and SC Kiyovu last week. Sam Ngendahimana.

Djuma Masudi has urged his AS Kigali players not to undermine bottom side Gicumbi when the two sides square-off in Azam Rwanda Premier League on Wednesday.

The City of Kigali-sponsored side host Gicumbi in a match-day 10 encounter at Kigali Stadium. The game will get underway at 3:30pm.

Despite struggling with poor run of form where they lost three times and recorded four draws in their first seven league games this season, AS Kigali managed to win the last two games; 3-0 against Bugesera and 1-0 over rivals SC Kiyovu.

However, Burundian tactician Masudi has admitted that, “There is a lot of work we still have to do to regain the trust of fans. We are under pressure to deliver but that won’t be a big issue – AS Kigali has always been a club that copes well under pressure.”

AS Kigali have just two wins from their opening nine games this season and already trail joint leaders APR and Mukura by nine points.

“I’m happy of how we performed in our last two games, the attitude (from players) was right. That is the kind of attitude I want to see [against Gicumbi) on Wednesday, it is difficult to win matches when you’re not fully committed on the pitch,” said the Rayon Sports legend.

He added, “We are playing without any pressure but the pressure of winning is always there for a big club.”

In another Wednesday fixture, Musanze head coach Emmanuel Ruremesha returns to Umuganda Stadium to face Etincelles for the first time since parting company with the Rubavu District-sponsored side in August after guiding them to a fourth-place finish last season. 

In the meantime, the tie that would pit in-form Mukura and Amagaju in the Southern Province derby on Wednesday afternoon has been postponed to allow the former ample time to prepare for their return-leg against Sudan’s Hilal Obayed in Caf Confederation Cup.

Fresh from holding the Sudanese side to a goalless draw in Sudan, Mukura will be seeking to use the most of home advantage to advance to progress the second round of Africa’s second biggest club competition for the first when they welcome Hilal Obayed          to Huye Stadium on Saturday.

Mukura set date with Hilal Obayed in the first round after edging out Free State Stars of South Africa in the preliminary round earlier this month.

Rayon held

Eight-time champions Rayon Sports suffered yet another upset this season as they played out a goalless draw with fifth-placed Espoir at Kamarampaka Stadium, in Rusizi District, on Tuesday afternoon

While archrivals APR and Mukura have dropped points once each, in draws against Bugesera and AS Kigali, respectively, this was the fourth time that the ‘Blues’ dropped points after slumping to defeats against Mukura, SC Kiyovu and APR.

Also on Tuesday, Police shared 1-1 spoils with Sunrise at Nyagatare grounds while Marines overcame Musanze 1-0 at Umuganda Stadium.