The local giants are the biggest clubs in Rwandan football, and are expected to take their domestic rivalry to another level when they lock horns again in the Week 21 topliner.
Rayon will be looking for revenge after losing out on the league title to APR last season. Besides the bragging rights, the game goes a long way in deciding the future of the coaches of either side.
“This is the biggest and most important match for Rayon Sports and their fans in a long time and we have prepared for it in the best way possible. It’s going to be a tough match and it’s important to win this game because we want to win and stay close with the leaders APR”, said Masudi, who side are four points shy of the leaders with a game in hand.
“We are strong technically, tactically, mentally and physically so we are looking forward to making history of winning the title and we believe we can do so” added Masudi, who incidentally laced his boots for APR during his playing days.
On the otherhand, APR captain Ismail Nshutinamagara believes victory will give them a huge boost towards retaining the league title, and are poised for the maximum points.
“We are ready for the game. We will be up against a tough opponent whom we respect but do not fear. This is an important game for this club and one that we really want to win. Hopefully we will win it,” said Nshutinamagara.
Rayon are eyeing an eighth league title overall and a first since 2013, which they won under Frenchman Didier Gomes da Rosa while APR are chasing a record-extending 16th title.
Since 1995, both sides have met 74 times in official matches with Rayon winning 23, seven behind APR, whilst 21 others ended in stalemates.
Last season, APR under Andy Mfutila beat Rayon twice; 1-0 in the first round and 4-0 in the second round with coach Habimana in charge after the Congolese Mfutila had been fired.
In those 74 matches, 220 goals have been scored in total; 106 for Rayon Sports and 114 for APR.
The clash between the two giants always produces all sorts of entertainment and talking points on and off the field. The last time the two sides played to a barren draw in recent times in the league was on 11 June 2006.
During the 2003-2004 season, APR won 3-1 in the first round and 1-0 in the second while the season before Rayon won 1-0 in first round and 4-1 in the corresponding fixture;
APR players and supporters will never forget the 4-1 humiliation of Rayon Sports on August 18 2001, when their team went on to win the league with 61 points, just one ahead of their rivals.
Former national team forward Jimmy Gatete, who played for both sides, holds the record for scoring the most goals in the meetings between the two sides - four goals for either club.
Jerome Sina has scored the most goals for Rayon Sports against APR – six goals, while Masudi scored five goals for APR against Rayon.
No player has scored a hat-trick in this fixture; but Sina, Gentil Salita Kambale (Papy Kamanzi) and Labama Bokota for Rayon Sports as well as St Preux Lionnel, Farouk Ruhinda, Ndjoli Bokungu (for APR), all have scored two goals in one game.
Ex-Rayon Sports coach Raoul Shungu has a record of 16 matches in the Kigali derby; 7 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses.
APR graduate and current goalkeeper Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye, will come up against his former colleagues right-back Albert Ngabo, midfielders Tumaine Ntamuhanga, Djihad Bizimana, defender Faustin Usengimana and winger Djamar Mwiseneza.
Other players who played for both sides include; Gatete, Bokota, Haruna Niyonzima, Janot Witakenge, Masudi (now coach), Bonaventure ‘Gangi’ Hategekimana, Tumaine Ntamuhanga, Djihad Bizimana, Faustin Usengimana and Karim ‘Mckenzie’ Nizigiyimana.
Tuesday, 21 May 2016
Amagaju Fc vs Musanze (Nyamagabe)
APR FC vs Rayon Sports FC (Amahoro Stadium)
Espoir FC vs Marines Fc (Rusizi turf)
Police FC vs Sunrise FC (Kigali Regional Stadium)
SC Kiyovu vs AS Kigali (Mumena Stadium)
Mukura VS vs Gicumbi Fc (Huye Stadium)
AS Muhanga vs Etincelles Fc (Muhanga Regional Stadium)