Mukura players warned against complacency

Mukura held Free State Stars to a goalless draw in the first-leg game in South Africa before edging them 1-0 in the decisive match at Huye Stadium on Wednesday. Courtesy.

FRANCIS Haringingo has warned his Mukura Victory Sports players to avoid complacency as they turn focus to their upcoming double-legged tie against Sudanese side Al Hilal Elobied in the first round of the 2018-19 CAF Confederation Cup.

Mukura secured a slot to the round of 32 after beating South Africa’s Free State Stars 1-0 in the return-leg clash of the preliminary round at Huye Stadium on Wednesday. The two sides had played out a goalless draw in the first-leg in Johannesburg.

Haringingo is adamant that his men will be up for the task when they face Al Hilal in Sudan on December 14, in the first-leg, before hosting them a week later in the decisive encounter.

“It is a tough challenge ahead of us, but so was the Free State Stars. Sometimes it is not about your opponents but rather about how you prepare for them,” said Haringingo.

“We are happy to go past the preliminary round, now it’s time to focus on the next round. There is no time to relax, and my players know that better than anyone else. We are going to continue training and learn about more about Al Hilal and their game.”

The Huye-based side who are still unbeaten in the 2018/2019 Azam Rwanda Premier League, having won four and drawn one game respectively, will be looking to take their sparkling performance on domestic scene to continental football as they seek “To reach as far as possible” in the Caf Confederation Cup.

They are back in the competition after an 18-year hiatus – the first time since 2000 – when they got eliminated from the first round by Ethiopia’s Awassa City FC 2-1 on aggregate score.

Last season, while they had their worst league campaign in over a decade, Mukura braved all the odds to lift the Peace Cup title at Kigali Stadium in August after beating Rayon Sports 3-1 on penalty shootouts following a goalless draw in over 120 minutes.

They had also seen off AS Kigali and APR en route to the final showdown.

After Wednesday’s majestic win over Free State Stars, Haringingo said that the club’s target is to shine on continental scene without tempering their impressive run in local competitions.

Following APR’s early exit from the CAF Champions League at the hands of Club Africain of Tunisia, Mukura are the only Rwandan team remaining in Caf competitions this season.