Rayon visit lowly Amagaju looking to reclaim top spot

Ghanaian striker Michael Sarpong (in blue), seen here in a challenge with APR centre-back Herve Rugwiro, has scored 13 goals for Rayon Sports this season. Sam Ngendahimana

Saturday

Amagaju   Vs    Rayon     15:30

Kiyovu       Vs    Espoir      15:30

Musanze   Vs    Sunrise   15:30

Bugesera  Vs    Police     15:30

RAYON Sports will have to deal with bottom side Amagaju without left-back Eric Rutanga and star striker Michael Sarpong when the two sides face off Saturday afternoon.

The Blues travelled to Nyagisenyi Stadium, in Nyamagabe District, for the match-day 27 fixture without the suspended duo.

Both players accumulated three yellow cards.

Sarpong has scored 13 goals this season for Rayon, who seek to snatch the top spot back from APR going into the Azam Rwanda Premier League’s final three match rounds.

Champions APR thumped Gicumbi 3-1 Thursday to go top again with 62 points, two ahead of Rayon, but the latter have played one game less.

Brazilian tactician Roberto Oliveira admits that missing the two players, who are regular in his starting eleven, is quite a blow but “it will not be an excuse” if they fail to win.

“Rutanga and Sarpong are key players, but we have back-up. I don’t think their absence will affect us a lot, and if it does, it won’t be because we played without them,” said Roberto.

“Morale in the dressing room is high, and that is the first step to success.”

In the absence of Rutanga, Eric Gisa Irambona will start on the left-back while Gilbert Mugisha is likely to take Sarpong’s place, and partner with Burundian striker Jules Ulimwengu upfront.

Amagaju will also miss the services of suspended Francis Amewuga.

Roberto further noted: “We have had a fantastic second-half of the league and fought very hard to be where we are right now. We can’t afford to blow that away. We are considering every game as a title decider, and that is how the Amagaju tie will be approached.”

After playing away to Amagaju, Rayon will host Musanze at Kigali Stadium before traveling to Kirehe. They will wrap up the season with a home fixture against Marines on June 1.

When asked about the tight race against APR for the title, the Brazilian said: “I know APR will not want to slip up again, and any mistake from our side will benefit them richly. So we should be ruthless in our remaining fixtures.”

“We have zero margin error.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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