The Belgian tactician will lead Rwandese giants Rayon Sports on Sunday evening when they take on Gor at the Stade Regional Nyamirambo in Kigali, Rwanda in their first Group D match of the CAF Confederation Cup.“I have followed Gor Mahia and their progress and they are a very tough team. They have a squad that has been together for four or five seasons and they have become very solid. It will not be an easy match against them and I have told my players that,” Minnaert told Capital Sport from his base in Kigali.Ivan Minnaert“This is a battle of East African teams which have almost a similar style of football and it will make things even tougher,” he added.Starting their campaign at home though, Rayon who are also making their maiden appearance in the group stages of the Confederation Cup have vowed to kick start their campaign with a win.“We have to start well because we want to excel in this competition. Obviously Sunday will be tough because both teams want to begin on a high, but we have the advantage since we are at home. We have to put a marker on our campaign and that means a win,” the Belgian further stated.-Key players racing for fitness-Ivan Minnaert in training.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.However, the tactician is worried that some of his key players are facing a race to be fit for the clash, but remains optimistic he will have some of them available.“Against a team like Gor, you always want to field the strongest team. It is a small worry but possibly we can have some of them back,” the coach noted.Minnaert just recently signed a new contract with the club after guiding them to their first ever Confederation Cup group stage appearance having taken over on interim basis in February.He is out to ensure the club leaves a mark on continental football and he is optimistic that they can get off the group if they put in a shift of hard work.“It is a possibility but from a very tough group. Gor Mahia and Yanga are tough regional rivals and it will not be easy both home and away. USM Alger are an experienced side and their strength is known having played at this stage before,” the coach further noted.Rwandan champions Rayon Sports FC.Rayon, who contribute a huge chunk of players to the Rwandese national team, dropped to the Confederations Cup after losing to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the Champions League first round.They are currently third in the Rwanda Premier League standings on 35 points out of 18 matches, three points behind leaders AS Kigali. They have not lost over their last five games picking three wins and two draws.Their last league tie was against 12th placed Kirehe where they came from a goal down to draw 1-1. At home in the Confederation Cup, they beat Mozambican side Costa De Sol 3-0 in the play-off round and advanced despite a 2-0 loss away.Their last loss in the league was against arch rivals APR in February. That was their first loss at home in three years, the last time having tasted defeat at their Nyamirambo pitch being in September 2015 when they lost to AS Kigali.They went on to pick a run of 37 matches without losing at home, drawing 11 of those. They have conceded 19 goals from those 37 games.“We have had a strong record at home and definitely that is what we will rely on and we want to continue the tradition,” coach Minnaert noted.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Former AFC Leopards head coach Ivan Minnaert in a past KPL match-PHOTO/ RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, May 4- On March 6, 2016, he famously broke Gor Mahia’s Kenyan Premier League unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani courtesy of a Lamin Dialo goal, a result that consequently led to former head coach Frank Nuttall leaving the club.But when Ivan Minnaert meets K’Ogalo two years later, this time with a different employer, he knows only too well chances of him finishing the 90 minutes on a celebratory mood might be minimal as he admits he faces a tougher opponent.
Ronald Ramon hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the second overtime and No. 22 Pittsburgh withstood Quinn’s 37 points and frantic Notre Dame rallies at the end of regulation and the first overtime for a 100-97 victory Wednesday night. “We could have folded a half-dozen times and said it wasn’t our night, but we never did,” said a drained and disappointed Mike Brey, the Notre Dame coach. “I just wish we could have gotten him a win.” PITTSBURGH – No matter what defense Pitt tried against Chris Quinn, no matter what defender was used against him, he made shots – some from beyond the NBA’s 3-point range. But on a night no lead was safe against Notre Dame and its Quinn-led comebacks, what proved the Irish’s undoing was their inability to hold one of their few leads. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The Irish almost did, improbably, in a game they trailed by nine points in the final 45 seconds of regulation and seven points with a minute left in the first overtime. “It’s hard to say you played good defense when somebody scores 37 points, but I thought we did,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “I’m sure I’ll see that guy scoring in my head the rest of the night. The guy made some unbelievable shots.” Aaron Gray scored a career-high 25 points and Carl Krauser added 21 points before fouling out late in regulation, but it was freshman Sam Young who did much of unbeaten Pitt’s important scoring. He finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds as Pitt opened a season 12-0 for only the fifth time in its 100 years of basketball. Quinn, a senior, scored 30 of his 37 points after halftime, including a remarkable 16 consecutive Irish points late in the second half. Notre Dame (9-3), which came in on a seven-game winning streak, rallied to tie it at 77 on two late 3-pointers by Colin Falls. And, if one comeback wasn’t enough, Quinn then hit a 3-pointer and a driving layup in the final 18 seconds of the first overtime to force another 5 minutes in the Big East Conference opener for both teams. “I haven’t had a game like that since high school,” Quinn said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!