APR downed by Al Ahly

Rwandan record league champions APR conceded twice in the second half to lose to Egyptian giants Al Ahly 0-2 in the first leg of the first round tie in the Caf Champions League at the Amahoro Stadium yesterday.
Iranzi Jean-Claude Iranzi of APR (right) brawls for the ball with Hossam Ghaly Al Ahly. (Timothy Kisambira)
Iranzi Jean-Claude Iranzi of APR (right) brawls for the ball with Hossam Ghaly Al Ahly. (Timothy Kisambira)

Saturday (First leg)

APR 0-2 Al Alhly

Rwandan record league champions APR conceded twice in the second half to lose to Egyptian giants Al Ahly 0-2 in the first leg of the first round tie in the Caf Champions League at the Amahoro Stadium yesterday.

Emad Mohamed broke the deadlock in the 67th minute after beating the APR defense to send a fine shot that went in off the woodwork before bouncing on the inside and into the net to give the visitors a lead.

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Al Ahly SC Fans celebrate their first goal at Amahoro Stadium. (Timothy Kisambira)

Earlier in the 56th minute, APR striker Michel Ndahinduka picked a pass from Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza and made a run on the right wing but the former did not see Bernabe Mubumbyi who was left with acres of space and only goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy to beat in the second half and instead his shot went wide.

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Emad Mohamed of Al Ahly SC dribbles the ball. (Timothy Kisambira)

After conceding the first goal, APR tried to restructure and look for an equalizer but they lost possession several times, lacked confidence and seemed suspect in midfield despite the presence of the highly rated combination of playmakers in Jean-Claude Iranzi and Andrew Buteera.

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Ferwafa President Vincent De Gaulle Nzamwita ( L) chats with Defense Minister James Kabarebe during the game. (Timothy Kisambira)

The introduction of Patrick Sibomana in the 80th minute did not change much in the build-up to create a possible equalizer and once again, when Mohamed was left unmarked in the box, he scored another stunning goal to beat Kwizera who had stepped up to try and save his shot in the 84th minute.

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Hessein Sayed of Al Ahly shields the ball away from APR player. (Timothy Kisambira)

“I am very impressed with our performance because we scored two goals at the right time. We did not play well in the first half but we recovered in the second because they made two mistakes and we scored. APR is a good team but finally we managed to win,” said Juan Carlos Garrido, head coach of Al Ahly.

APR interim coach Vincent Mashami blamed the loss on his side’s complacency. He said, “We lost possession on both occasions that Al Ahly capitalized on to score. We played very well in the first half and struggled in the second.”

Earlier, in the 14th minute, striker Ndahinduka was brought down on the edge of the penalty box but Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe awarded a freekick.

Emery Bayisenge hit the resulting freekick in the Al Ahly wall. The return leg will be played on the weekend of April 3-5 in Egypt.

Rayon play Zamalek

Meanwhile, Rayon Sports are in action today against another Egyptian side, Zamalek in the Caf Confederation Cup first round, first leg at El Gounah Stadium.