CAF Confed Cup
Mar. 17: Second leg
APR FC Vs Djoliba AC 16:30pm
Mar. 7: First leg
Djoliba AC 1-0 APR FC
APR Football Club returned home on Thursday night from Bamako, Mali, a day after losing 1-0 to Djoliba AC de Bamako in the first leg of CAF Confederation Cup first round.
The only goal of the game was scored in the 48th minute by Djoliba striker Cheick Tidiane Niang. The second leg is scheduled for March 17 in Kigali at Amahoro National Stadium.
Speaking to Times Sport upon APR return home, APR captain Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza admitted that the first leg match was tougher than they anticipated but is “glad” that they only conceded one goal, which means that they are still in the tie.
“It was a tough game because Djoliba have tall and strong players, and they play a wide-ball game, which we struggled to deal with but the good thing is that we only conceded one goal,” the experienced Rwanda international midfielder said in an interview.
He added that, “Djoliba also have more experienced players than us but we believe and confident that we can win the second leg at home because we want to be in the draw for the group stage.”
“We played well and missed a few good scoring chances and on the other end, Djoliba scored from the only clear opportunity they got from a free-kick,” noted the ex-SC Kiyovu, Azam FC and Gor Mahia player.
APR goalkeeper Yves Kimenyi also saved a penalty in the 13th minute, but team captain Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza believes the army side are still very much in the tie.
The record 16-time Rwandan league champions, APR, are required to win the second leg 2-0 to progress to the group stage of Africa’s second tie club competition for the first time.
In the preliminary round, APR edged Anse Reunion FC of the Seychelles to progress to the first round of Africa’s second biggest club competition round.
Their opponents qualified to the 1/16th final without kicking a ball after their opponents Elwa United from Liberia, withdrew from the competition due to financial constraints.
Djoliba reached the group stages of CAF Confederation Cup in 2012 while APR Fc have never reached the group stages since they made their debut in Africa’s biggest club competition in 1997.
Last year, APR did not go past the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League, crashing out of the competition at the hands of Zambia’s seven-time league champions Zanaco FC.
APR are sixth in the Azam Rwanda Premier League with 21 points from 12 matches, five points behind leaders AS Kigali, who however, have played two more games.