AS Kigali 1-0 Al-Ahly Shendi
AS KIGALI’s impressive run in the CAF Confederation Cup continued on Saturday with a deserved 1-0 win against Sudanese side, Al-Ahly Shendi in the first round of the first leg match played at Stade de Kigali.
Striker Rodrigues Murengezi redeemed himself after an earlier miss in 23rd minute to score the lone goal of the game with a sublime finish off Jimmy Mbaraga’s corner in the 78th minute.
Both sides employed a cautious approach in the first half as they studied each other but impressive AS Kigali skipper Mbaraga had the first real scoring chance in the 14th minute only to direct his shot inches wide of the goal post.
Midfielder Hamido Ndayisaba wasted another good opportunity in the 33rd minute when his shot was blocked by defender Ali Mohammed.
Al Ahly goalie Ali Abderrahman saved Bodo Ndikumana’s attempt at the stroke of half time as the striker, who netted the winner against Burundi’s Academie Tchite in the first leg at the same ground, tried to shoot from close range instead of placing the ball in the right area.
Al-Ahly Shendi’s only attempt on goal in the opening 45 minutes was when defender Patrick Umwungeri made a good interception off Addis Hintsa’s cross inside the penalty area.
After the break, AS Kigali powered forward in search for goals with Mbaraga and Ndikumana wasting several chances which they could regret if the City of Kigali-sponsored team is eliminated after the second leg.
Goalkeeper Abderrahman was forced into a superb save off Mbaraga’s shot after the striker dribbling past two visiting defenders.
Ndikumana wasted the best chance of the match when he blasted an inviting low cross by Mbaraga over the cross bar with only the goal at his mercy.
But he was saved minutes later by Murengezi, who met Mbaraga’s corner in the 78th minute, unleashing a shot from edge of Al-Ahly Shendi penalty area.
The home team continued to press forward looking to increase their advantage ahead of the second leg but the second goal just couldn’t arrive.
It was a well-deserved win for coach Andre Gasambungo’s troops, but it could have been a lot more comfortable if only they had turned their dominance into goals.
After the match, Gasambungo lauded his players, saying “This is a sweet victory and it would be more pleasing if we had converted all our chances. This is a good start and credit to the players, everyone played his part.”
The win leaves, Rwanda’s 2013 Peace Cup winners with one foot to the next round of the competition. The second leg is scheduled for next Sunday in Khartoum.