Rayon Sports will play either Kiyovu Sports or APR in the Peace Cup final after eliminating Mukura Victory Sports from the semifinals on a 4-3 aggregate victory.

A 1-1 draw with the Huye-based side in Saturday’s semifinal second leg at Kigali Pele Stadium was enough for Francis Haringingo’s men, who had a 3-2 lead in the first leg, to advance to their first final since 2018.

The club’s defense has been shaky for a couple of matches to the extent that people were expecting Haringingo switched to a defensive approach in the return leg to avoid conceding more goals against Mukura’s aggressive attack led by Robert Mukoghotya.

However, his men showed no signs of “parking a bus” as they instead dominated the ball possession in the first half and early in the second half.

Red hot striker Willy Esombe Onana broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute after a brilliant counter attack and then fired a powerful shot from outside the box that went straight into the back of Nicholas Sebwato’s net.

The home side continued to pile pressure with numerous attempts of scoring but were denied scoring chances by the visitors whose defense looked too organized to simply concede goals.

Mukura’s hopes of progressing to the final were getting out of their hands by the time the pair were playing additional time during which Yellow and Back side scored an equalizer through Emmanuel Nsabimana.

Rayon progressed to the final after winning the tie with a 4-3 victory on aggregate score and set a final date with either Kiyovu or APR FC at Huye Stadium on June 3. The pair face off in another semifinal second leg at Kigali Pele Stadium, having played a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Bugesera Stadium.

The Blues are chasing their 10th Peace Cup trophy having previously been crowned champions of the tournament nine times including 1976, 1979, 1982, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2005 and 2016.

The winner of the Peace Cup earns the right to represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup which is hence Rayon’s only remaining card to play continental club football which they haven’t featured since 2019.

Source: The New times

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