Rayon, AS Kigali set for friendly match

Rayon Sports striker Jules Ulimwengu (#7) vies for the ball with AS Kigali defender Latif Bishira during the two sides’ semi-final clash in Peace Cup tournament in June. Sam Ngendahimana.

Friday

Rayon Vs AS Kigali 18:00

RAYON Sports and AS Kigali have announced they will be facing off Friday in a warm-up match at Kigali Stadium as the two sides step up preparations for continental football.

The game will get underway at 6pm.

AS Kigali, winners of the 2019 Peace Cup, will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup, while Rayon Sports – the league champions – will be playing in the CAF Champions League.

Eric Nshimiyimana’s AS Kigali, who are back in continental football for the first time since 2014, have been drawn against Tanzania outfit KMC in the preliminary round, with Rayon Sports set to face Sudanese giants, Al Hilal.

Speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday, Rayon Sports coach Roberto Oliveira said that his players were in a good shape, but admitted that, “there is still a lot of work” given the calibre of their opponents.

Founded in 1930, Al Hilal are Sudan’s most successful club having won the country’s topflight league title for a record 27 times, and lost twice in the CAF Champions League final match, in 1987 and 1992, respectively.

“We will have to be at the top of our game if we are to stand a chance. The players understand the magnitude of the task, and are working hard in training to prevent an early exit from the competition,” added Roberto added.

Rayon go into Friday’s game against AS Kigali just three days after beating second division side, Gitikinyoni, 3-1 in another warm-up encounter. New signings Yannick Bizimana, with a brace, and Saidi Irakoze scored for Rayon, while Asman Sindikubwabo netted the consolation goal for Gitikinyoni.

On the other hand, this will also be AS Kigali’s second game this week, and as well the second since the return of Nshimiyimana as head coach, and the signing spree that saw – among others – Amavubi skipper Haruna Niyonzima, goalkeeper Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye and right-back Michel Rusheshangoga joining the City of Kigali-sponsored side.

The Nyamirambo-based side won 4-2 over Vision FC, also a second division team, at Kigali Stadium on Tuesday.

In a recent interview with this publication, Nshimiyimana urged his players to mean serious business in stepping up their preparedness for the new season.

“We are going to have a long (2019/2020) season; we must be ready for it.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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