Serge Kabanda bagged a brace to help Gasogi United carry off an emphatic 2-1 victory over Rayon Sports in Rwanda Premier League’s second-half opener on Friday evening.
There was much good-natured banter on both sides before the contest, though Gasogi United got the last laugh at Kigali Pele Stadium, with Kabanda snatching the show.
Rayon Sports got off to a frantic pace and could have been beaten early by the visitors when Gasogi’s Akbar Muderi superbly seized the ball from Rachid and passed to Kabanda to hit the post in the 17th minute.
With Alain Kirasa’s men dominating, Muderi outran Aimable Nsabimana and cut inside the box from the right to square the ball for Kabanda, who immediately opened the scoring with a fine finish from close range in the 28th minute to stun Rayon Sports fans into silence.
The hosts should have equalised in the 38th minute, but Marc Govin Nshimiyimana cleared debutant Paul Gomis shot off the line. Cedric Lisombo’s header forced Rayon goalie Bonheur Hategekimana to make a brilliant save in the dying time of the first half.
Lisombo thought he doubled the lead for the visitors in the 56th minute, but the Congolese forward’s goal was disallowed for offside. However, Kabanda finally doubled the advantage two minutes later with an inside-the-box strike after Joseph Mugisha’s pass.
Heritier Luvumbu scored a consolation goal for Mohamed Wade’s side with a left-foot freekick in stoppage time after Gasogi’s Adolphe Hakizimana tripped substitute Isaac Mitima nearly the penalty area.
“It really hurts as we didn’t expect a match like this, but hey it’s football it was supposed to happen like it happened. It’s now up to us to rectify the mistakes and see our team again,” Rayon Sports head coach Mohamed Wade said in a post-match press conference.
“We were facing a very committed team, who had come not to give us any gifts.”
Rayon Sports lost their matchday 16 contest amid the absence of several crucial players such as Joackiam Ojera, Simon Tamale, and Charles Bbaale, who are still on holiday in Uganda.
With the victory, Gasogi United plunged into seventh position on 21 points from 16 games. Meanwhile, Rayon Sports stayed in fourth spot on 27 points.