Dutchman laments lack of firepower
After watching helplessly as his team fired blanks on Saturday against Haras El Hadoud, Rene Feller has challenged his strikers to step up a gear in the return leg if they want APR to progress to the next round of Caf Confederations Cup.
Feller was left fuming on the touchline after Eritrean referee controversially choked off what seemed a valid first goal scored by striker Ndjoli Bokungu for offside offence that never was.
The Dutchman preferred the partnership of Bokungu and Kabange Twite in the first leg tie against Egyptian cup winners.
“I can not buy a van Nistelrooy. What do you want me to do? These are the strikers I have; we created several chances but could not score,” Feller complained in the post match interview with Times Sport.
He added, “We played better than them and created more chances than they did but they strikers could not score even one goal!”
While Kabange did little to trouble El Hadoud keeper Maturin Kameni, his partner Bokungu did virtually nothing to justify his tag as the team’s supposed main source of goals.
The former DC Motema Pembe forward should count himself very unfortunate for his goal to be ruled out but he should also have himself to blame for missing the best chance of the match midway through the second half with only the keeper at his mercy.
He, on two occasions in the first half, had an opening to either have a shot on target while inside the penalty area or pass to a team mate but he did neither as he on both incidences fell over himself yet Feller had no option on the bench.
Rwandan international Labama Bokota wasn’t fit enough to even earn a place on the bench while Elias Uzamukunda is still away in Europe having professional trials at French side Fc Nantes.
Ex-Burundian international keeper Aime Ndizeye ‘Ndanda’ came to APR’s rescue on four occasions, twice in each half as his defence was left flat-footed.
Both Mbuyu Twite and second substitute Hegman Ngoma side netted with long range shots as APR searched for the winner while Jean Bosco Uwacu and Ismail Nshutinamagara made last ditch clearances in the second period to deny El Hadoud striker Ahmed Aid.
Goalkeeper Kameni was warned by the referee as the Egyptians tried to frustrate the home side with time wasting tactics; no wonder at full time, their coach Tarek Al-Ashri was contented with the point.
He said, “To come here and get this result is good for us going into the return leg at our place because APR are a very good team, but we shall deal with them in the return match. Our target is to progress to the next round.”
Despite hitting relegation-bound La Jeunesse 8-0 in the league two weeks ago, APR have struggled to score goals this season, failure to score even one goal on Saturday could come back to haunt them when the referee blows the final whistle in the return leg against Haras El Hadoud in 12 days’ time but Feller is still optimistic.