Rayon Sports head coach Ivan Minneart has expressed his disappointment after seeing his side settle for a home draw against Kenya’s Gor Mahia in their opening Group D match of the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday at Kigali Stadium.
Gor Mahia took an early lead through Rwanda international Meddie Kagere before the hosts equalised through left-back Eric Rutanga in the 25th minute.
“A draw at home is absolutely not the result we wanted, we could have done better. It’s a disappointing start to our group stage campaign. The waterlogged pitch spoiled our game plan,” Belgian-born Minneart told Times Sport in a post-match interview.
The Blues dominated the game in the first half, producing goal-scoring opportunities on several occasions but as the artificial turf increasingly became saturated with rainwater, their passing game faded.
He also pointed to his team’s defensive flaws. “We need to learn how we can defend when we are playing against big teams; that’s our main focus for the next ten days before we face Young Africans (of Tanzania) in our next game.”
On the other hand, while the Kenyan champions dominated possession in the second half, their finishing left a lot to be desired.
“Our game plan was to keep a clean sheet. We did not get it; however, I would say it was an okay performance from my team. We played well but after 25 minutes, my players started to lose focus, which led to conceding a goal. Nonetheless, we are satisfied with the away draw,” Gor coach Dylan Kerr said.
In the meantime, USM Alger of Algeria confirmed their status as hot favourites to top Group D with a resounding 4-0 win over Young Africans.
With only four minutes into the game in Algerian capital, Algiers, Oussama Darfalou handed the hosts the lead before Farouk Chafai doubled their lead shortly before the break.
Forward Abderrahmane Meziane scored the third goal of the night in the 54th minute while goalkeeper Mohamed Zemmamouche converted a stoppage-time penalty to complete the rout.
Group D table after one match
Team P W D L PTS
USM Alger 1 1 0 0 3
Gor Mahia 1 0 1 0 1
Rayon Sports 1 0 1 0 1
Young Africans 1 0 0 1 0