Struggling AS Kigali look to dent Rayon’s chances for title defence

Rayon Sports edged AS Kigali 2-0 during the two sides' first-leg in October 2019, just days after AS Kigali beat them on penalties to win the Super Cup. Courtesy.

Saturday

AS Kigali Vs Rayon 15:00

 

Marines Vs Gasogi 15:00

 

Muhanga Vs Gicumbi 15:00

 

Sunday

APR Vs Bugesera 15:00

Mukura Vs Sunrise 15:00

Etincelles Vs Heroes 15:00

Kiyovu Vs Espoir 15:00

AS KIGALI will be looking to put up a much better performance when they face reigning champions Rayon Sports on Saturday following the former’s goalless draw against leaders APR last weekend.

The game gets underway at 3pm, at Kigali Stadium.

It will be a crunch between teams at opposite ends of the table, with second-placed Rayon seeking to pile more pressure on leaders APR while 12th-placed AS Kigali battle to break out of the bottom half.

Eric Nshimiyimana’s AS Kigali will have odds to brave as the Peace Cup holders have not won against the Blues in Rwanda Premier League since September 2015.

Speaking to Saturday Sport on Friday, the former Amavubi midfielder said that his side were working hard to turn their fortunes around after losing many points in the league’s first half and starting the reverse leg with a draw.

“It is going to be a tough game keeping in mind that we lost many points in the first round and last weekend’s draw – against APR. But, we have to forget about the past and focus on turning things around. We want to beat Rayon and see if we can move up the table.”

Whereas the champions go into Saturday’s game fresh from a 1-0 win over Gasogi United – their tenth victory, struggling AS Kigali have only managed 3 wins after 16 matches this season.

In a separate interview, Rayon’s interim coach Alain Kirasa expressed satisfaction over his team’s return to second position before challenging the players that ‘we can’t take our foot off the gas’ as they eye a win that would propel them to one point within of APR.

Ahead of their respective weekend matches, APR lead the table standing with 38 points, four ahead of Rayon.

“We need to work as a unit to earn all the points. We cannot set foot off the gas,” Kirasa, who was upgraded to interim coach following the dismissal of Mexican Javier Martinez last month, appealed to his players.

Mohamed Adil Erradi’s APR will on Sunday be up against Bugesera, a team that is under the tutelage of Rayon Sports’ 2016-17 title-winning coach Djuma Masudi.

Rayon won last season’s league title with 72 points, seven clear of runners-up APR. AS Kigali finished in seventh position with 39 points.

Police held again

In the meantime, third-placed Police had a chance to go second on Friday but they were held 1-1 by Musanze at Kigali Stadium.

Jean Pierre Maombi opened the scoring at the hour mark to put Musanze ahead before Omar Moussa salvaged a draw for the hosts with a 72nd minute equaliser.

The setback for Francis Haringingo’s side follows another 2-all draw against Sunrise last week. The law enforcers are now level with Rayon at 34 points, but the latter lead courtesy of a superior goal difference.

In other matches on Saturday, Marines host Gasogi at Umuganda Stadium, while Gicumbi and AS Muhanga face off at Muhanga Stadium.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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