Rayon inch closer to title after comeback win over Musanze

From L-R: Suleiman Mudeyi, Michael Sarpong and Hussein Habimana celebrate after Rayon Sports came from behind to beat Musanze 3-1 at Kigali Stadium on Friday. All photos by Sam Ngendahimana.

Saturday

Muhanga   Vs    APR          15:30

Mukura      Vs    Marines   15:30

Espoir         Vs    AS Kigali  15:30

Sunrise       Vs    Kirehe      15:30

Friday

Rayon         3-1  Musanze

RAYON Sports came from a 1-0 first-half deficit to secure a comfortable 3-1 win over Musanze at Kigali Stadium on Friday, and extend their lead at the top of the Azam Rwanda Premier League table to four points.

However, the lead could be narrowed back to a solitary point should APR overcome AS Muhanga at Muhanga Stadium on Saturday.

Ghana-born striker Michael Sarpong scored the second goal during the 3-1 victory

After this weekend's round of matches there will be two more rounds to the end of season.

On Friday, the visitors took a shock first-half lead just before the break after Rayon centre-back and team captain Thierry Manzi failed to mark Musanze forward Patrick Musombwa, who would set up teammate Cedric Mugenzi for an easy finish against helpless goalie Andre Mazimpaka.

But Emmanuel Ruremesha’s men could not hold onto their lead for long as Manzi leveled just four minutes after recess, and then Michael Sarpong put the hosts ahead in the 59th minute with a strong header off a curling cross from Manzi on the right flank.

With the red outfit largely playing from their half, Rayon continued to control possession and their resistance was broken once more in the 67th minute with Djabel Manishimwe netting the third goal from a clever Fabrice Mugheni’s pass to seal the comeback victory. 

Delighted Rayon Sports players join their fans in celebration after thumping Musanze 3-1 at Kigali Stadium

With five minutes to clock, the league’s leading scorer, Jules Ulimwengu, failed to put his name on the scorers’ sheet on the night after being denied by goalie Innocent Shema in a one-on-one duel having already rounded off defenders.

APR in catch-up play

In the meantime, APR head coach Zlatko Krmpotić has urged his players to collect maximum points on offer against AS Muhanga when the two sides square off this afternoon.

The military side, with 62 points, go into the tricky away encounter trailing Roberto Oliviera’s Rayon by four points, with only two match rounds left to the end of the season.

Rayon Sports' Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira speaks to skipper Thierry Manzi after conceding just before the break

“Victory [against AS Muhanga] will help us keep within touching distance of the league leaders, it’s the only result that will keep us in the race. We are injury-free, and players understand well the delicate position we are in,” said Serbian tactician Zlakto.

This is how Rayon Sports lined up against Musanze

Musanze FC squad that started against Rayon Sports yesterday

Rayon Sports players appreciate the support of their fans after overcoming Musanze at Kigali Stadium yesterday

“It is important that we keep working hard and believing, we won’t give up until the last minute of the season. We have many good players and that presents us with several options.”

Elsewhere, on Saturday, Mukura host Marines at Huye Stadium, AS Kigali visit Espoir at Kamarampaka Stadium, in Rusizi, while Sunrise will be up against Kirehe at Nyagatare turf.

Rayon Sports diehards kneel for a prayer after their side went down 1-0 in the first-half

Musanze head coach Emmanuel Ruremesha shouts instructions to his players during the first-half

Musanze head coach Emmanuel Ruremesha celebrates his side's opener

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

 

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