Forward Shaban ‘Tchabalala’ Hussein scored the lone goal as Rayon Sports claimed a hard fought 1-0 away victory against Lydia Ludic Académic of Burundi in the preliminary round return leg of the 2018 CAF Champions League, yesterday.
The narrow win for the Rwandan side at Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium in Bujumbura saw Rayon Sports proceed to the next round with an aggregate score of 2-1.
The Burundi international’s thunderbolt, from a tight angle in the 28th minute, followed good play between Shassir Nahimana and Djabel Manishimwe.
Rayon Sports defence, marshaled by Thierry Manzi, Faustin Usengimana, Ange Mutsinzi and Eric Rutanga, put up a solid performance to deny the Burundian league champions.
But the hosts put up sustained pressure on Rayon Sports’ backline, especially in the second-half, creating opportunity after another in vain.
But Rayon captain and goalkeeper Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye needed to be at his best to thwart Moussa Harerimana, Seif Ndizeye, Jules Ulimwengu and Djamal Bazunza.
Rayon Sports got its own chances through Nahimana, Djabel Manishimwe, Kevin Muhire and new signing Tchabalala.
Rayon Sports went into the return leg needing a win or a draw of more than one goal to seal qualification to the next round, while Lydia Ludic needed a goalless draw to progress.
In the first leg in Kigali nearly a fortnight ago, forward Jamali Bazunza gave the visitors the lead before Tchabalala equalised for Olivier Karekezi’s team.
In the next round, Rayon Sports will face the 2016 CAF champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.