Peace Cup: AS Kigali face Rayon in daunting task for final berth

Latif Bishira rallies his AS Kigali teammates not to give up after going down 2-0 early in the first half during their 2-1 defeat to Rayon Sports in the first-leg on Wednesday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Saturday

Rayon Vs AS Kigali 15:00

AS Kigali will be looking up to striker Jean Claude Ndarusanze to inspire a comeback when they take on Rayon Sports in the decisive clash at Kigali Stadium on Saturday, starting 3pm.

Rayon go into the much-awaited game with a 2-1 advantage from Wednesday’s first-leg of the two sides’ semi-final tie.

Burundian import Jean Claude Ndarusanze scored the consolation goal, while midfielder Fabrice Mugheni and Ghana-born striker Michael Sarpong were on target as Rayon edged closer to their second Peace Cup final in as many attempts.

In an interview with Saturday Sport, Jean de Dieu Mateso emphasized that despite trailing Rayon, his AS Kigali players are calm and collected for the return leg and “We will give everything on the pitch for the result we want.”

AS Kigali, the tournament winners for 2001 and 2013 editions, need to win 2-0 or progress on away goal rule if they win by a one-goal margin, but with a victory larger than 2-1.

“We are ready for the match, and we will give it everything to reach the final. It is unfortunate that we are trailing, but I have confidence in my players.”

“After a nightmare league season, we are looking for solace in Peace Cup.”

On the other hand, Rayon Sports assistant coach Wagner do Nascimento Silva has warned that his side will be looking for victory, not a draw as their opponents may think.

“We are taking it as a new start, not a continuation from Wednesday. We won’t take any chances because we know what its cost would be,” he said.

Nascimento is guiding Rayon through the Peace Cup tournament since head coach Roberto Oliveira left for his native country, Brazil, for family matters earlier this month.

Rayon, who last clinched the Peace Cup title in 2016 , are on track for a historic first domestic double after winning the 2018/2019 league title last month.

After the Peace Cup final on July 4; Rayon will immediately shift attention to the Cecafa Kagame Cup where they are scheduled to face DR Congo giants TP Mazembe in their first Group A match at Kigali Stadium on July 7.

The seven-time Peace Cup winners will represent Rwanda in the regional tournament alongside APR and Mukura Victory Sports.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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