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CAF Champions League: Rwandan giants Rayon Sports face Al Hilal

Posted on Aug 11 2019

Rwandan giants Rayon Sports start their 2019-20 CAF Champions League campaign against Al Hilal of Sudan on Sunday, expecting to register a brilliant start before jetting off for the second leg in a fortnight.

Kick-off between Rayon Sports FC and Al Hilal of Sudan at Stade de Kigali is due at 15:00.

According to Brazilian Roberto Oliveira Goncalves do Carmo, Rayon Sports are focused on winning every game they play in the competition in order to reach their target.

“We want to win all our matches in our campaign, so that we qualify for the next stage because we aim to reach far, try to replicate our performances in 2018,” added Roberto.

Rayon Sports striker, Michel Sarpong is confident he will score goals that will give his side a win against Sudanese team Al Hilal.

“I am well aware that scoring goals will contribute in defeating our opponents and I am quite confident that I can score them but it will have to be a team performance because we shouldn’t concede goals too,” the 23-year-old said told Times Sport.

Sarpong scored 20 goals last season which helped to propel his club to league glory and he will be looking to recuperate that same form.

The Ghanaian joined the Blues in September 2018 and has so far been voted the club’s Player of the Month twice, in October 2018 and January this year, making him the only player to win the accolade twice this season.

This is second time Rayon Sports will be playing against Al Hilal. In the 1994, both side meet in the Caf Champions League, in the first leg Al Hilal won 1-0 but the blues thrashed their opponents 4-1 in the return leg in Kigali.

Al Hilal head coach Salah Mohamed Adam has warned his team that any defensive lapses will be severely punished by Rayon Sports.

Adam said he is aware of Rayon’s quick counter attacks and that he is designing a way of countering that but also added that his scouting had showed that Rayon Sports concedes many goals, something he promised his team intends to capitalize on.

“They are very dangerous especially in attack and we have to defend well to cut those attacks. They generally play quick passing football. However I noted they are not very solid defensively and that’s a weakness we will have to capitalize on,” he noted.

Rayon Sports strikers like Burundian Jules Ulimwengu and Ghanaian Michel Sarpong who scored 20 and 16 goals each last season will be the club’s main threat as they target to get an edge for the return leg slated for later this month

Rayon Sports needs a win in the first leg and avoid conceding goals in their return leg match to have a chance of progressing to the next round which will both play away.

Meanwhile, Saturday, 10 August saw 12 CAF Champions League preliminary round, first-leg matches played across Africa, with the biggest result coming from Nigeria, where Kano Pillars defeated Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko in a five-goal thriller.

Masu Gida won 3-2 at home, with strikes from Paul Hillary, Rabiu Ali and Nyima Nekabari, yet the away goals from Justices Blay and Godfed Asiamah means the Porcupine Warriors remain very much in contention ahead of their home leg in Ghana in two weeks’ time.

The other Nigerian team in action on Saturday was two-time African champions Enyimba, who succumbed 1-0 away to Rahimo of Burkina Faso, while another former winner of the competition, South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, lost by the same score at Zambia’s Green Eagles.

The highest-scoring game of the day came from the Gambia, where Brikama United held Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca 3-3 - Badr Banoun netted a brace for the North African side, who had to come from 3-1 down to ensure they enter their home leg with the aggregate score on level terms.

Uganda’s KCCA suffered a setback in their hopes of advancing, as goals from Amseb Ambrosius and Ibroihim Youssouf (two) gave Namibia’s African Stars a 3-2 win in Windhoek, and Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto have taken a major stride toward the next round by winning 2-0 away to Zanzibar’s KMKM.

Zambia’s Zesco United have done the same with their 2-0 win in Swaziland against Green Mamba, while Tanzanian giants Simba and Young Africans drew against Mozambique’s UD Songo (0-0 away) and Botswana’s Township Rollers (1-1 home) respectively.

Malawi’s Big Bullets and Platinum of Zimbabwe drew 0-0, Equatorial Guinea’s Cano Sport beat Mekelle 70 of Ethiopia 2-1 at home and the day’s final result was a 1-1 draw between Stade Malien and Guinea’s Horoya, with the latter’s away goal netted by Godfred Asante.

The Champions League continues with 15 further preliminary round, first-leg matches across Africa on Sunday 11 August.

2019/202 CAF Champions League
Sunday, 11 August 2019

Tempete Mocaf (Central African Rep.) vs El Nasr (Libya)
Buffles (Benin) vs ASCK (Togo)
UMS de Loum (Cameroon) vs AS Vita (DR Congo)
Rayon Sport (Rwanda) vs El Hilal (Sudan)
Aigle Noir (Burundi) vs Gor Mahia (Kenya)
*Atlabara (South Sudan) vs Al Ahly (Egypt) - *Match will be played in Egypt
*Dekadaha (Somalia) vs Zamalek (Egypt) - *Match will be played in Egypt
LPRC Oilers (Liberia) vs Generation Foot (Senegal)
Hafia (Guinea) vs Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)
Matlama (Lesotho) vs Petro Atletico (Angola)
Fomboni (Comoros) vs Cote D’Or (Seychelles)
AS Otoho (Congo) vs Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
SOA (Cote d’Ivoire) vs Nouadhibou (Mauritania)
CMS (Gabon) vs Elect Sport (Chad)
Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) vs Pamplemousses (Mauritius)

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