Rayon Sports eye home victory over Enyimba

Rayon Sports coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves do Carmo shouts instructions to players during the 2-1 win over Tanzania’s Young Africans at Kigali Stadium on August 29. Sam Ngendahimana.

Sunday

Rayon      Vs     Enyimba 3PM

RAYON Sports head coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves has fired a warning to Enyimba that his side will be looking for a home win when the two sides face-off this afternoon at Kigali Stadium.

The game starts at 3PM CAT.

The eight-time Rwandan champions, who are in quarter-finals for a historic first time, host the Nigerian giants in the first-leg clash of their two-legged last eight tie. The return-leg is scheduled for September 23 at Enyimba International Stadium in Aba, Nigeria.

Speaking to Sunday Sport on Saturday, Brazilian coach Goncalves said that Rayon won’t be intimidated by Enyimba’s ‘powerhouse’ status and tipped his youthful side to make the most of home advantage as they seek to establish themselves on continental scene.

“There is mood of buoyancy and determination in the team, and every player is fit for the game. We have trained well and had time to study the opponent, we are ready,” he said.

“Since we entered camp, our preparations have mainly been based on devising means of scoring goals. We have to score goals, especially at home, and fight to keep a clean-sheet.”

He further cautioned his players that, “The return-leg will be a much tougher affair, we have to stand tall and executive well our game plan. I know we are facing a strong side, but we have been reached this far by luck. Eliminating Enyimba is definitely possible.”

Rayon Sports advanced to quarter-finals, along with USM Alger, as first runners-up from Group D a fortnight ago – outclassing Kenyan champions Gor Mahia and Tanzania’s Young Africans.

“I have spoken with my players, and warned them not focus on the opponent but rather on their game. We don’t have to give in on pressure, we will keep calm and create opportunities – we need at least two goals, which would put Enyimba under a great deal of pressure,” he noted.

Other quarter-finals

Besides the much-awaited tie between Enyimba and Rayon, USM Alger take on Egyptian side Al-Masry, Morocco’s Raja Casablanca will be up against CARA Brazzaville while DR Congo’s AS Vita Club and Morocco’s RSB Berkane square-off in the other quarter-final.

Raja Casablanca, also known as Raja Club Athletic, advanced to the last eight as Group A leaders with 11 points, ahead of first runners-up AS Vita Club (10 points). RSB Berkane (13 points) and Al-Masry (12 points) while Enyimba (12 points) and CARA Casablanca (9 points) were the two survivors from Group C.

Only Rwanda’s Rayon Sports and the Republic of Congo’s CARA Brazzaville are playing the quarter-finals, in any Caf competition, for the first time.

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