Hakim Bugingo’s 10th-minute strike plunged Rayon Sports into second position on the Rwanda Premier League table following their nail-biting 1-0 triumph over Bugesera in Friday evening’s day 12 match at Kigali Pele Stadium.
Mohamed Wade’s boys had taken away a stunning 2-0 win over Police during their rescheduled league contest in midweek, whilst Bugesera came into the game with new faces on the touchline, with Francis Haringingo took charge of his first match as the Bugesera district-based side head coach after penning a one-and-a-half-year contract on November 15.
The host had an impressive start to the game as Bugingo put them ahead in the 10th minute after Youssef Rharb hit an exquisite trick to let Emmanuel Mvuyekure’s pass find the left back, who cut inside the box and unleash a left-foot strike into the roof of the net, marking his first goal for Rayon.
Five minutes later, Youssef could have doubled the lead for Rayon Sports following his great run to find Isaac Mitima’s long pass. However, his efforts only created a corner kick as Bugesera goalkeeper Patience Niyongira denied the Moroccan winger.
Francis Haringingo’s side had a clear-cut chance to equalise through Gilbert Tuyihimbaze’s bullet shot in the 37th minute, but Simon Tamale made a wonderful save.
The visitors awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute after Ally Serumogo tripped Tuyihimbaze in the area, though Ani Elijah failed from the spot as Tamale punched the ball into the corner kick.
Mohamed Wade’s team started the second half on a high note, with Kevin Muhire and Youssef producing significant scoring chances.
Muhire delivered a clever pass in the box in the 52nd minute, finding Joackiam Ojera, who instantly fired the ball but Mvuyekure deflected it and hit the post. Rachid Kalisa nearly converted a 20-yard freekick six minutes later, but Niyongira sent the ball wide.
In the 73rd minute, Arsene Tuyisenge came on for Youssef, and the former Espoir winger sharpened Rayon’s front line. Two minutes later, Mukengere cleared Esenu’s header off the line after Tuyisenge delivered a clever cross.
Through Rayon’s utter dominance in the final minutes of the game, shortly afterwards, Kalisa missed a one-on-one chance after neatly teaming up with Muhire. In the 80th minute, Tuyisenge created another brilliant cross to Esenu, and the Ugandan striker attempted a header that fizzed just wide.
Elijah threatened to tie the score as he chested down the ball in the box. However his shot slightly flew off target, and Haringingo failed to impress against his former side.
Bugesera are still the rock bottom team in the standings with nine points after 12 league matches. Meanwhile, this victory moved Rayon Sports into second place with 23 points, just two points behind their bitter rival APR.