Rayon start training without key players ahead of Enyimba tie

Burundian striker Caleb Bimenyimana during Rayon’s 1-0 win against Young Africans last month. Sam Ngendahimana.

Quarter-finals

First legs: Sept 16, second: Sept 23
Rayon (RWA) Vs Enyimba (NGR)
CARA (CGO) Vs Raja Casablanca (MAR)
Al Masry (EGY) Vs USM Alger (ALG)
AS Vita (COD) Vs RSB Berkane (MAR)

Semi-finals
First legs: Oct 3, second: Oct 24
Rayon/Enyimba Vs CARA/Raja
Masry/USM Alger Vs AS Vita/Berkane

Rayon Sports have enhanced preparations without some of the club’s key players ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup last eight encounter against Nigerian outfit Enyimba.

The first leg is due at Kigali Stadium come September 16.

On Thursday, Rayon Sports began intensive preparations at their training base, Nzove ground, under the watchful eye of assistant coach Mousa Gatera.

Brazilian head coach Roberto Goncalves Oliveira is reportedly out of the country is expected to join the team early next week from holiday in his native Brazil.

The team started preparations without some key players including; Thierry Manzi, Abdoul Rwatubyaye, Kevin Muhire, Eric Rutanga and Yannick Mukunzi who are with national team ‘Amavubi’ that will play Ivory Coast in AFCON qualifiers this Sunday in Kigali.

By press time Friday, other players namely goalie Abouba Bashunga, defender Ange Mutsinzi, midfielders Olivier ‘Sefu’ Niyonzima and Djabel Manishimwe as well as Burundian striker  Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana were yet to report to camp.

“We have begun preparations because we want to be ready for the game. We are facing a strong team with a rich history on the continent, we need to be at our best, and strive to make the most of the home advantage in the first-leg,” Gatera said.

Rayon will be expecting a tough challenge against Enyimba in bid to book their maiden semi-final slot in any CAF competition. After the first-leg clash at Kigali Stadium, Enyimba will host the return-leg on September 23 at Enyimba International Stadium in Aba, Nigeria.

Should Rayon Sports see off the Nigerian side, they will meet favourites Raja Casablanca of Morocco or CARA Brazzaville in the last four next month.

Players in training so far:

Kassim Ndayisenga, Gabriel Mugabo, Saddam Nyandwi, Eric Irambona, Nova Bayama, Francois ‘Master’ Mugisha, Gilbert Mugisha, Innocent Twagirayezu, Christ Mbondi and Donkor Prosper Kuka, Youssuf Habimana and Gerard Bikorimana

editorial@newtimes.co.rw