Rayon rout Etincelles to maintain summit
Rayon 3-0 Etincelles
APR 1-0 Musanze
Marines 2-0 AS Muhanga
Police 2-0 SC Kiyovu
Esperance 2-1 Espoir
Gicumbi 0-0 Amagaju
RAYON SPORTS extended their lead at the top of the Turbo King Football League after claiming a comfortable home victory over visitors Etincelles on Sunday at Kigali Regional Stadium.
The blues dominated from start to finish and took the lead when striker Cedric Amissi unleashed a sharp shot past impressive goalie Fred Illunga on the 43rd minute.
Congolese Illunga played an instrumental role in the stands for Etincelles as he denied Rayon Sports plenty of goal scoring opportunities in both halves as the blues used their half to execute all their plans of finding the net.
A second goal, hammered in from close range by Robert Ndatimana in the 84th minute, made sure of the points before Amissi snatched a double, heading in a third goal with a fine header off Djamal Mwiseneza’s cross three minutes later.
Abdu Bizimana’s outfit could muster only two meaningful shots on goal in the whole 90 minutes. The first attempt came from veteran substitute Yussuf Kayihura and a Jean Bosco Harolimana’s penalty which was easily saved by Rayon goalie Jean Luc Ndayishimiye.
The balance of the match was exactly as you would expect from one between the expensively-assembled, league-leading top-scorers and the comparatively cheap, 8th-placed side with the league’s poor defence.
Rayon Sports were never troubled by a limited Etincelles side, which has conceded twenty goals this season.
At the other end, the home side’s artistic attacking unit – comprising the fulcrum of Fuadi Ndayisenga, the incessantly energetic Meddie Kagere and the enigmatically talented Amissi – ripped Etincelles apart.
It would be harsh to blame Coach Bizimana for this defeat. Etincelles do not have the personnel to compete with a Rayon Sports side who had won 16 consecutive home matches ahead of this. Prior to the game, the coach had lashed at the club owners for not paying salaries and bonuses for players for several months, thus the lack of commitment in the last four matches.
The win for Rayon Sports helped them extend their chances of retaining the league title. Though they are tied on 52 points with APR, Rayon Sports has a superior goal difference (27) compared to the military side who have 24.
APR, who have lifted 13 league titles, could only manage a 1-0 win over Musanze in their fixture played at Kicukiro turf. Skipper Jean Baptista Mugiraneza scored the lone goal of the game on the 19th minute.
Between now and May 3, Rayon Sports and APR will must ensure that they maintain a clean sheet in their remaining four fixtures because any slight slip-up on either side, will grant the title to the other rival.
However, both clubs will face slight tougher oppositions in their quest to win the title. Defending champions Rayon Sports will face Marines on April 5 in Rubavu; AS Kigali on April 20 at Amahoro stadium; Esperance on April 26 at Kigali Regional stadium before winding up the season with Musanze on May 3 at Amahoro stadium.
Their rivals APR have SC Kiyovu on April 5 at Kigali Regional stadium; Amagaju at Kigali Regional Stadium on April 6; Espoir in Rusizi on April 26 and AS Muhanga in Kicukiro on May 3.
Meanwhile, Marines who entertain Rayon Sports next weekend snatched a 2-0 win over visitors AS Muhanga at Umuganda stadium to move ninth position with 20 points.
Amagaju and Esperance remain rocked in the relegation zone with 13 and 12 points each after 22 rounds of the Turbo King Football league.