Tough task for AS Kigali against Jadida
AS Kigali vs. Difaa El Jadida
How Mine vs. Bayelsa United
Ismaily vs. Atletico Petroleos
Warri Wolves vs. CA Bizertin
Es Sahel vs. Supersport
Wadi Degla vs. Djoliba
Medeama vs. Zesco United
Constantiniuis vs. Asec Mimosas
THE CAF Confederation Cup moment of truth for Rwandan Peace cup champions AS Kigali comes this afternoon when they host Morocco’s Difaa Hassani El Jadida in the first leg of the 1/8th round of the Caf Confederation Cup.
Debutants AS Kigali have struck three goals in the preliminary and first rounds with striker Jimmy Mbaraga netting all of them.
Ahead of the tough Difaa El Jadida game, AS Kigali coach Andre Cassa Mbungo eyes an unblemished brilliant home record against Moroccan clubs to spur them to victory over the North Africans.
“Our strategy remains unchanged, not conceding a goal at home,” said Cassa Andre adding: “In the return leg, we will have to attack to score a goal that could be worth double. No one believed that we could reach this stage of the competition but we are eager to continue to surprise.”
Other than home support and history, Mbungo will have the experience of four Amavubi internationals Emery Mvuyekure, James Tubane, Jimmy Mbaraga and Mwemere Girinshuti to bring alive the expected capacity crowd which will be allowed into the stadium free of charge.
Star striker Bodo Ndikumana and impressive midfielder Muhammed Mushimiyimana will miss the fixture following a motorcycle accident and a knee injury sustained last week.
But young talents Justin Mico, Amin Mwizerwa, Eric Ndahayo and Emmanuel Uwimana are ready to take up two of the spots.
A win over the two legs for AS Kigali will see them sail through to the final round of qualifying of the second tier African club championship. The return leg is set for Morocco seven days from the first leg.
Difaa Hassani El Jadidi will employ a defensive game and hope to finish off Rwandan representatives away in the return leg in Casablanca.
AS Kigali will have to be aware of in-form Ayoub Nanah who can add to his five goals from the last round in today’s match. Nanah scored twice in the 2-0 first-leg win before hitting a hat-trick in the second leg to hand his side a 6-0 aggregate victory over Gamtel.
Should AS Kigali emerge overall winner over the two legs, it will become only the second Rwandese club to progress through three rounds of CAF interclub competitions; a feat only attained by APR FC about 11 years ago.
Elsewhere, CA Bizertin, the only one of last year’s semi-finalists to remain in the competition, travel to Warri Wolves after the Nigerian club came through a close-fought first-round tie with Union Douala 4-3 on aggregate.
Supersport United will be eager to come out of the blocks quickly again when they travel to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia, having beaten Gaborone United 2-0 in the first leg in the preliminary round before wrapping up a 3-0 aggregate win.
As well as Ismaily, Egyptian side Wadi Degla have home advantage in the first leg, taking on Djoliba of Mali, while How Mine will hope to continue their form in front of goal and add to their 12 goals in the competition so far against Bayelsa United.
CS Constantinois host ASEC Mimosas on Sunday with Medeama of Ghana entertaining Zesco United, as the Zambians look to progress past the last 16 for the first time.