Mukura, Al Hilal face off in Caf Confed. Cup

Mukurua Victory Sports players celebrate after beating APR 1-0 in Azam Rwanda Premier League at Kigali Stadium a fortnight ago. Sam Ngendahimana.

Sunday

Al Hilal Vs Mukura 19:00

Mukura Victory Sports face a huge challenge against Sudanese giants Al Hilal if they are to reach the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup for the first time.

Francis Haringingo’s men take on Sudan’s most successful club on Sunday evening at Al-Hilal Stadium, at 7pm, in the first-leg clash of their playoff tie.

The Mukura delegation left Kigali on Friday hoping for a win, which would help them to proceed to the group stage of Africa’s second biggest club competition. The return leg will be played at Huye Stadium on January 20.

Head coach Haringingo has urged his players to forget about what happened in the past matches and focus on getting a good result [against Al Hilal] in Sunday’s much anticipated game.

“We have to give our best against a very strong team, there is no margin of error on Sunday. I want my players to be at ease and enjoy their game, and fight for a positive result,” said the Burundi-born tactician.

Should Mukura eliminate Al Hilal, they will become the second Rwandan club to reach the competition’s group stages after Rayon Sports, last season.

He added, “It is a very tight situation for us. We are playing against a team with big history in Africa at their home, nonetheless, we need show what we are capable of.”

Al Hilal dropped to Caf Confederation after they were seen off by Tunisia’s Club Africain 3-2 in the first round of the CAF Champions League. The latter had brushed aside Rwanda’s APR in the preliminary round of the continent’s premier club competition.

Mukura reached the playoffs round – for the first time – last month after edging out another Sudanese side, Hilal Obayed, 5-4 in penalty shoot outs following a goalless draw after regular time.

“Our target is to win the game, but even a draw would not be a bad away result. We are taking this fixture very seriously. We will be aggressive in the attack and at the same time defend well. We are ready to fight with all we got for a spot to group stages,” Haringingo further noted.

The Peace Cup holders are taking part in the continental showpiece for the first time in 18 years, since 2000 when they were knocked out in the first round by Ethiopian side Awassa City.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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