Algerian side USM Alger will qualify to the quarter-finals if they manage to get maximum points against Rwandan side Rayon Sports on Sunday.
USM are leading the Group with seven points after managing two wins and a draw in three matches. The North African side has scored six goals in the three matches, making it an average of two goals per game. They have kept two clean sheets and failed to score just once; 0-0 draw away against Gor Mahia.
Rayon Sports lost a 1-0 lead when the two sides faced each other, to lose 2-1 after ninety minutes. Ismailla Diarra had opened the scoring for the home team in the 38th minute before Farouk Chaffai and Abdelraouf Benguit scored in the 45th and 90th minute to help the visitors register a vital win.
For the East African side to have any hopes of progressing to the quarter finals, they have to avoid another defeat. However, they will face a tall order as they travelled to Algeria minus six of their dependable players including skipper Pierrot Kwizera.
Rayon Sports coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves do Carmo has admitted that it will not be easy against USM Alger. “We don’t have many of our key players, and it is absolutely going to be hard but doesn’t mean we should give up before we even get on the pitch. The intention is to win and that’s what we are looking for in Algiers.”
Rayon Sports players, who will miss the game include; suspended Kevin Muhire and Ange Jimmy Mutsinzi (two accumulative yellow cards), and, Eric Rutanga and Olivier Niyonzima - both through injuries.
The other two are Burundi stars Kwizera and Faustin Usengimana, who are reported to be focused on securing professional moves abroad.
Meanwhile, Yanga will welcome Kenyan side Gor Mahia in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with an aim of overturning the 4-0 loss suffered in the first leg played at Kasarani. With just one point after three matches, the Tanzanian giants will have no option but put a brave fight and get something out of the match.
Having conceded eight goals and scored none, Yanga has to make their chances count and the only way to do that is by sharpening their attacking skills.
For Gor Mahia, it is systems go if they manage to replicate their form. It seems striker Ephram Guikan has hit the top form in the right time and that is definitely a big boost for the Dylan Kerr led side that lost Meddie Kagere to Simba SC a few weeks ago.
Kerr will once again miss the services of injured midfielder Ernest Wendo. “We must protect Wendo and not rush him to play. He has shown some great improvement on the road to recovery but we cannot rush him to start in a game,” Kerr told Goal.
If Gor Mahia win the match and Rayon Sports suffer defeat against USM Alger, then the Kenyan champions will be 95% certain of progressing to the next stage.