PHOTOS: Rayon impress against Mamelodi as APR lose


Rayon Sports' players thank the home fans after dominating the second half against Mamelodi Sundowns at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali yesterday. (Photos by Sam Ngendahimana)

CAF Champions League


First round; 1st leg

Rayon Sports      0-0         Mamelodi Sundowns

CAF Confed Cup

First round; 1st leg

Djoliba                  1-0          APR FC

RWANDA champions Rayon Sports held South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns to a goalless draw in the first-leg of CAF Champions League’s first round on Wednesday evening at Amahoro National Stadium.

Consequently, everything is left to be sorted in the return-leg clash to be played on March 18 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa.

To advance to the group stage, Rayon Sports will have to defeat Mamelodi Sundowns, winners of the competion in 2016, away from home or at least pull off a scoring draw.

Given the caliber of the opponents, Rayon Sports sailed through the pressure, defying odds to keep a clean sheet against Pitso Mosimane’s side, who could have scored at least twice in the first half.

A good number of Rayon Sports fan showed up to support their team.

By the 20th minute, Mamelodi Sundowns had already missed a few clear chances from Vilakazi Sibusiso, Langerman Tebogo and Wayne Arendse.

With time, the home side started to settle into the game, forward Shaban ‘Tchabalala’ Hussein and striker Ismaila Diarra combining to create a few threats to Ugandan goalie Denis Onyango. In the 33rd minute, Shaban had a chance to give Rayon Sports a lead but he fired wide.

After 34 minutes, Rayon Sports interim coach Ivan Minnaert replaced Burundian forward Shassir Nahimama, who was far from his best, with defender Saddam Nyandwi in the 34th minute in a bid to reorganise Rayon Sports’ defence that had already shown loopholes.

Sirino Gaston missed the best chance of the match for 2016 African champions when he went through one-on-one with Rayon Sports goalkeeper and captain Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye on the 37th minute.

In the 71st minute, Rayon Sports’ Cameroonian forward Christ Mbondi, who came in for the ineffective Diarra in the 56th minute, failed to convert a one-on-one chance, arguably the best goal opportunity of the night, which came off the goal post.

Skippers Jean Luc 'Bakame' Ndayishimiye and Kekana Hlompho exchange pennants before the match.

APR beaten away

Meanwhile, APR FC lost 1-0 to Djoliba Ac de Bamako at Stadium Modibo Keita in Mali in the CAF Confederation Cup. Despite missing a penalty early in the 13th minute, that was saved by Yves Kimenyi, the hosts netted in the 48th minute through Cheikh Niang.

The second-leg encounter is scheduled for March 17 in Kigali, and a draw for the Malian side will be enough to see them through to the next round. APR need to win by a two-goal margin to advance to the group stage.

Arendse Wayne controls the ball in the first half, his side dominated the first half.
Rayon's assistant Coach Witakenge talks to the players during the second half.
Defender Gabriel Mugabo battles for the ball with Mamelodi Sundowns striker Tau Percy.
'Gikundiro' Forever fan club cheer on their team.
Goalkeeper Dennis Onyango tries to clear the ball before Rayon Sports' striker Christ Mbondi gets to it.
Head Coach Ivan Mannaert gives instructions to his players.
Ivan Mannaert and his assistant coaches before the match.
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane looks so dejected after the 0-0 draw in Kigali.
Mamelodi Sundowns players pose for a photo before the game.
Mamelodi Sundowns' striker Tau Percy vies for the ball with Hussein Shaban.
Rayons Sports' players thank their supporters after the 0-0 draw at Amahoro National Stadium.
Rayon Sports dominated the second half during the first leg match in Kigali.
Rayon Sports fans turned in large numbers.
Rayon Sports fans sing the team anthem after the match.
Rayon Sports forward Shaban Hussein 'Shabalala' tries to go past defender Morena Thapelo.
Rayon Sports' starting XI against Mamelodi Sundowns yesterday . 
Yannick Mukunzi tries to stop Mamelodi's Vilakazi Sibusiso in the first half.
Rwarutabura and a female supporter celebrate the 0-0 draw at Amahoro National Stadium.
Shabalala dribbles past Mamelodi defender Thapelo during the match at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali.
Skipper Kekana Hlompho and Yanick Mukunzi vie for the ball.
The Blues head coach Ivan Minnaert looks so disappointed as his striker Christ Mbondi fails to finish a clear chance in the second half.
Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe gives instructions to the players during the match.