AS Kigali face tough outing against El Jadida
1/8th round, 2nd leg fixtures
Difaa El Jadida [Mor] vs. AS Kigali (Rwa) 17.30
Super Sport [Rsa] vs. Etoile Sahel (Tun)
Bayelsa Utd [Ngr] vs. How Mine (Zim)
Djoliba [Mal] vs. Wadi Degla (Egy)
Zesco Utd [Zam] vs. Medeama (Gha)
ASEC Mimosas [Civ] vs. CS Constantine (Alg)
Petro Atletico [Ang] vs. Ismaïly (Egy)
CA Bizertin vs. Warri Wolves (Ngr)
RWANDAN giants AS Kigali face one of the biggest challenges in their football history as they have to defend their first leg against home side Difaa El Jadida to ensure their progress to the play-off round of Caf Confederation Cup.
AS Kigali play away to Difaa El Jadida in the second leg of the 1/8th round scheduled to be played at Stade El Abdi on Saturday at 17.30 localtime.
The Kigali City sponsored club goes into the game seeking to defend their slim 1-0 win attained in the first leg played a week ago in Kigali.
The Rwandan continental debutants are eager to make the final play-off round and leading striker Jimmy Mbaraga has polished his boots ready to strike and steer AS Kigali one step closer to the mini-league phase.
Mbaraga said, “We don’t need to panic. I think if we contain them (El Jadida) in their own half. All we want is to frustrate them and get an early goal, a feat which will unsettle them,”
“We displayed the same tactics in Sudan while playing against Ahly Shendi and I believe if we work as a team, we can do it again,” added Mbaraga.
Head coach Andre Casa Mbungo told Saturday Sports before departure mid this week, “We will be going for a draw because we know winning away is very difficult. Anything can happen in football but believe we can get a positive result away to Difaa El Jadida,”
Last week, AS Kigali continued with their 100 percent home record in the Orange CAF Confederation Cup competition with a narrow 1-0 win over visiting Moroccan side Difaa El Jadida in a second round, first leg meeting.
Teenager Jean Paul Niyonzima came off the bench to score the only goal of the encounter after 67 minutes, capitalizing a Jimmy Mbaraga’s cross to give his side a first leg cushioning.
Youthful goalie Regis Ingabire is expected to replace first choice goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure who was suspended in the first leg.
It was the third successive win for the debutants, after registering the same goal margin in the previous matches against Burundian champions Academie Tchite and Sudanese Ahly Shendi in the past two rounds.
Moroccans Difaa El-Jadida are in an identical situation and they must utilise the home turf to ensure a win or else they will be dumped out of the continental competition.
Elsewhere, a goalless home draw with 2013 semifinalists CA Bizertin has put them on the back foot as Tunisian clubs seldom slip up at home.
Tradition is also against the Wolves with previous Confederation Cup appearances in 2010 and 2012 ending in last-16 exits.
Tunisians Etoile Sahel, winners in 2006 and runners-up two years later, take a 1-0 lead over SuperSport United to South Africa.
Although Egypt are the dominant force in African club football, they have yet to produce a Confederation Cup title-holder.
Debutants Wadi Degla meet vastly experienced Djoliba in Mali holding a 2-0 advantage while 1969 African champions Ismaily play Petro Atletico in Angola after a goalless first leg.
Another former African champion, Ivorians ASEC Mimosas, have to overcome a 1-0 deficit at home to Algerians CS Constantine.
Zambians Zesco United enjoy home advantage against Ghanaians Medeama in central copper city Ndola, but are two goals in arrears.
AS Kigali’s starting line-up: Regis Ingabire, Soter Kayumba, Mwemere Ngirinshuti, James Tubane, Patrick Umwungeri, Mouhamed Kabula, Jimmy Mbaraga, Rodrigue
Murengezi, Mwizerwa Amini, Jean Pierre Mabula and Justin Mico.