Rayon Sports head coach, Olivier Karekezi, will be seeking to take his team to the first round of the CAF Champions league when they take on Lydia Ludic Burundi Académic in the preliminary round return leg of the 2018 CAF Champions league at Prince Louis Rwagasore in Bujumbura, today.

Rayon Sports were held to 1-all draw by the Burundian side in the first leg in Kigali, over a week ago. Karekezi’s team go into the return leg knowing that they need a win to seal qualification to the next round.

“We are on a mission not just to qualify but to qualify with a win,” Karekezi said on Monday before the team departed for Bujumbura on Tuesday afternoon.

Forward Jamali Bazunza gave the visitors the lead in the 75th minute before Burundi international Hussein ‘Tchabalala’ Shaban equalised for Olivier Karekezi’s team seven minutes later.

Karekezi said his team will play an attacking game to ensure they score goals.

Tanzanian referees Ali Nassoro Mfaume, Frank John Komba and Iddi Lila Soud will officiate the game.

Skipper Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye said the team is ready for the job in Bujumbura.

“The players are ready for the task; we will try to take this game seriously as we want to reach far in this competition,” he added.

If Rayon Sports qualify for the first round, they will face the 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the round of 16. Rayon Sports were eliminated in the third round of CAF Confederation Cup last year.

However, in the three times that Burundian teams have drawn Rwandan teams in continental competitions, they have managed to eliminate them on two occasions.

Vital’O eliminated APR FC in CAF Champions League and LLB eliminated Police FC in 2013 in the Confederation Cup while in 2014 AS Kigali eliminated Academie Tchite.

The winners of both the preliminary round and the round of 16 will, after drawing of lots, be placed into four groups of four teams each in both Champions League and Confederation Cup.

After a round-robin of matches (home and away), the top two in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, which opens a new phase of knockout matches till the final.

In the CAF Champions League, the winner will pocket US$2.5 million, first runner-up $1.25m, while the semi-finalists will bag $875,000 and quarter-finalists $650,000. Clubs which will finish third and fourth, will each get $550,000.

LLB Académic vs Rayon Sports (Prince Louis Rwagasore, 15:00)

The Express News


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