RWANDAN league champions Rayon Sports forced hosts AC Leopards de Dolisie to a goalless draw in the first leg of the Champions League preliminary round at Stade Denis Sassou N’guesso Dolisie yesterday.
AC Leopards, 2012 Confederation Cup winners, failed to convert a penalty after Rayon Sports goalie Jean Luc Ndayishimiye was controversially sent off with ten minutes to the end of the game.
The blues are representing Rwanda in the CAF Champions League competition this year, hoping to go one better than arch rivals APR who got knocked out in the first round of the 2013 edition.
The club president Theogene Ntampaka, who spoke to Times Sport yesterday from Congo Brazzaville, is quite confident Rayon Sports will win the second leg to reach the first round.
“The referees were not on our side but, lucky enough, our players managed to put up a spirited fight. We are going to put much focus on preparing the second leg which we hope to win and progress to the next round,” added Ntampaka.
A win for Rayon Sports on Sunday will power them into the first round where they will face the winner between Primeiro di Agosto of Angola and Lioli from Lesotho in the first round.
Elsewhere, Ugandan side Kampala City Council boosted their chances of going through to the first round when they defeated Al-Merreikh 2-0 at the Al-Merreikh Stadium in Sudan on Saturday night.
The two away goals, from Herman Wasswa and Tony Odur, mean that the Ugandans have an edge going into the second leg which will take place in Kampala next weekend.
Tanzania’s Young Africans recorded the biggest win of the weekend, thumping Komorozine Sports of the Comoros Islands 7-0, while Sporting de Praia Cruz of Sao Tome and Principe beat Mali’s Stade Malien 3-2.
Kenya’s Gor Mahia also won, defeating US Bitam of Gabon 1-0. Kabuscorp of Angola thumped Cote d’Or of Seychelles 5-1, while Royal Armed Forces of Morocco drew 2-2 with Real Bamako of Mali.
Club World Cup finalists Raja Casablanca registered a resounding 6-0 win over Diamond Stars of Sierra Leone. The Moroccan champions – who lost out to Bayern Munich 2-0 for the club world title in December – got their continental campaign off to a flying start thanks to four goals from Mouhssine Iajour, and one each from Abdelilah Hafidi and Abdelkabir El Ouadi.
Libyan side Al Ahly Benghazi also started the preliminary round in impressive fashion with a 4-0 win over Foullah Edifice of Chad in Tunis.
The return leg matches will be played this weekend.