CAF Champions League
First round; 1st leg
Rayon Sports 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns
CAF Confed Cup
First round; 1st leg
Djoliba 1-0 APR FC
RWANDA champions Rayon Sports held South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns to a goalless draw in the first-leg of CAF Champions League’s first round on Wednesday evening at Amahoro National Stadium.
Consequently, everything is left to be sorted in the return-leg clash to be played on March 18 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa.
To advance to the group stage, Rayon Sports will have to defeat Mamelodi Sundowns, winners of the competion in 2016, away from home or at least pull off a scoring draw.
Given the caliber of the opponents, Rayon Sports sailed through the pressure, defying odds to keep a clean sheet against Pitso Mosimane’s side, who could have scored at least twice in the first half.
By the 20th minute, Mamelodi Sundowns had already missed a few clear chances from Vilakazi Sibusiso, Langerman Tebogo and Wayne Arendse.
With time, the home side started to settle into the game, forward Shaban ‘Tchabalala’ Hussein and striker Ismaila Diarra combining to create a few threats to Ugandan goalie Denis Onyango. In the 33rd minute, Shaban had a chance to give Rayon Sports a lead but he fired wide.
After 34 minutes, Rayon Sports interim coach Ivan Minnaert replaced Burundian forward Shassir Nahimama, who was far from his best, with defender Saddam Nyandwi in the 34th minute in a bid to reorganise Rayon Sports’ defence that had already shown loopholes.
Sirino Gaston missed the best chance of the match for 2016 African champions when he went through one-on-one with Rayon Sports goalkeeper and captain Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye on the 37th minute.
In the 71st minute, Rayon Sports’ Cameroonian forward Christ Mbondi, who came in for the ineffective Diarra in the 56th minute, failed to convert a one-on-one chance, arguably the best goal opportunity of the night, which came off the goal post.
APR beaten away
Meanwhile, APR FC lost 1-0 to Djoliba Ac de Bamako at Stadium Modibo Keita in Mali in the CAF Confederation Cup. Despite missing a penalty early in the 13th minute, that was saved by Yves Kimenyi, the hosts netted in the 48th minute through Cheikh Niang.
The second-leg encounter is scheduled for March 17 in Kigali, and a draw for the Malian side will be enough to see them through to the next round. APR need to win by a two-goal margin to advance to the group stage.