El-Merreikh sweat to advance
Atraco 0-0 Merreikh
Merreikh advance on 2-1 aggregate
Rwanda’s league winner Atraco fell at the first hurdle in their maiden African Champions League campaign yesterday at Nyamirambo stadium.
Atraco played to a goalless draw against Sudan’s El Merreikh in the second leg of the preliminary round to bow out of the lucrative Caf championship on 1-2 aggregate.
Atraco needed to score 1-0 but efforts of securing the lone needed goal proved futile as the taxi-men club wasted several chances to find the net on different occasions.
Striker Hamis Kitagenda was the main culprit in the first half as several of his moves were ruled offside as midfielder Joseph Kabagambe shot wide before recess.
Merreikh looked composed and determined with Nigerian teenage striker Collins Osunwa dribbles failing to be put to use. Merreikh’s domination was in the midfield as Lassana Fane closed out Kalisa Kase before he was replaced by Ismail Habumugisha in the second half.
The taxi-men looked to have lost the plot at the start of the second half and it’s the striking partnership Peter Kagabo and Kitagenda that kept the crowd on its toes.
Kagabo had two clear chances on 68th and 80th minute to put his side ahead but put the good deliveries from substitute Donatien Tuyisenge to waste.
With four minutes to full time, Kabagambe failed to convert another clear chance as goalie Ahmed Hafiz failed to get hold of a loss before a Amer Damer clearance.
Merreikh had the chance to win the game on 90th minute however substitute Omer Musaab shot wide after beating Geoffrey Kateregga to the ball.
Atraco’s last continental appearance was during the 2006/07 season under Coach Sam Ssimbwa when the taxi-men club failed to go beyond the second round of the Confederation Cup.
Having defeated Burundi’s Prince Louis 3-0 and Ethiopia’s Defense 2-0 on aggregates respectively, Atraco lost to Tunisia’s Gafsa.
Merreikh will now face Libya’s Al-Ittihad in the second round of the Champions League which resumes next month.
Elsewhere, debutants Monomotapa of Zimbabwe qualified to the next round despite a 1-2 loss to Miembeni of Zanzibar in their second leg tie of the preliminary round on Saturday.
In Kampala, KCC announced their return to continental action with a bang by beating Ferroviaro of Mozambique 2-0 and advance 3-2 on aggregate.