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CAF Confederation Cup

Rwandan Rayon Sports Fired Up For Rivers United

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

 

Rayon Sports of Rwanda are confident of compounding the woes of Nigerian clubs in the continent by upstaging Rivers United on Sunday in the play-off for the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.

With elimination staring at Enugu Rangers which had a ‘must win’ or a minimum 3-3 draw with Zesco United in Ndola, Rivers United looks as Nigeria’s only hope.

The Sports Village Square gathers from Rwanda New Times that Rayon Sports have started preparations for the encounter against “physical Rivers United.”

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The publication, quoting the coach, Djuma Masudi, revealed that the Rwandan team will arrive Nigeria on Friday.

The team had been traing at Stade de Kigali. “The whole squad is in good shape and we want to keep the winning spirit from the national league.

“We want to play good football but the most important thing is to win matches. Our confidence is pretty high and hopefully we can get a good away result,” Masudi reportedly told Rwanda’s Sunday Sport.

He added, “We are doing well for sure but we know it is hard to get good results in Nigeria. We are preparing well for the first leg so that we can come back with hope of qualifying for the next stage.”

“We are going to give everything we can to get a result in the first leg. We will be looking to score but at the same time make sure we keep it tight at the back. Going by some of their videos that we’ve managed to watch, they play a physical game and we have to match them in that aspect.”

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Rayon Sports reached the play-off round after their first round, second leg match against Malian side Onze Createurs was cancelled after FIFA’s suspended the Malian FA.

Rayon Sports are leading Rwanda Premier league with 55 points, 11 ahead of second-placed and defending champions APR FC.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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CAF Confederation Cup

Zamalek win African Confederation Cup on away goals

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Zamalek claimed the African Confederation Cup on away goals after a 1-0 win over Renaissance Berkane in the second leg thanks to Ahmed Hamdy’s first-half strike on Sunday.

The final ended 2-2 on aggregate following the return in Cairo with the Egyptian giants taking the trophy after scoring an away goal in last Sunday’s 2-1 first leg defeat in Morocco.

Hamdy swept the ball home after 23 minutes when Berkane failed to clear a corner but there were chances for both clubs to add more goals.

The Moroccan side finished down to 10 men when defender Hamza El Moussaoui was sent off in added time.

Sunday’s victory ensured Zamalek’s second success in the Confederation Cup. They beat Berkane on penalties after drawing the 2019 final 1-1 on aggregate.

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Egypt can complete a double in the African club competitions on Saturday when Zamalek’s arch domestic rivals Al Ahly host Esperance of Tunisia in the Champions League final second leg. The first leg in Tunis on Saturday ended goalless.

-Reuters

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CAF Confederation Cup

Shehu Dikko, Okey Obi get important roles at Confederation Cup final match

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The duo of Shehu Dikko and Okey Sylvanus Sylvanus Obi, both Nigerians have been appointed as Match Commissioner and Security Officer in Sunday’s final match of the CAF Confederation Cup in Cairo.

Dikko, the former chieftain of the governing body of the Nigeria Premier League is already in Cairo for the final match which pitches Zamalek SC against visiting Morocco’s RS Berkane.

Also already is Okey Obi is in Cairo. He is also the chief legal officer at the Nigeria Football Federation.  

The referee of the match is Issa SY. He handled the quarter-final match of Nigeria and  Angola in the Africa Cup of Nations last February. He will be assisted by compatriots, Djibril Camara and Nouha Bangoura. The fourth official is  Omar Abdulkadir Artan of Somalia.

  The Referee Assessor is Victor Miguel de Freitas Gomes of South Africa while  Joshua Robert Knipp, also of South Africa, is the General Coordinator for the match.

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The Video Assistant Referee is Pierre Ghislain Atcho of Gabon. Aliou Goloko of Senegal the initially designated Media Officer who was reportedly unavailable, has been replaced by Egypt’s Mohamed Elsesy.

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CAF Champions League

BREAKING: CAF adopts Yoruba name, “Ola” for official match ball!

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Confederation of African Football, CAF, has adopted a Nigerian language name of its official match ball for the interclubs competitions. Ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster line-up that sees Africa’s top clubs battle for  CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Champions League top honours, the confederation and its matchball producers, PUMA have unveiled a new match ball called “OLA.”

 In a press statement, CAF explains that “OLA,” means “wealth,” “honour,” and “respect” in Yoruba, and “rise” and “success” in Arabic. It explained that the name was chosen to symbolize the dynamic and energetic nature of African football.

Embodying the spirit of Africa, Ola’s design is inspired by the continent’s vibrant colours, art, and traditions.

OLA will be used this weekend – starting in Tunis when Espérance Sportive de Tunis hosts Al Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the  CAF Champions League Final and on Sunday when Zamalek hosts RS Berkane in the second leg of the  CAF Confederation Cup final at the Cairo International Stadium. 

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