APR 1-2 Zamalek
URA 0-2 Zesco United
Harar Beer v Rayon Sport
National league champions APR’s continental ambitions suffered a setback yesterday when they lost to Egyptian side El Zamalek APR 2-1 in the first leg of this year’s African Champions League played at Nyamirambo stadium.
A 4th minute header from midfielder Moutafa Gafali in the first half assured the Egyptians an early lead before Hamza Gamal scored the second goal on the70th minute of the game through an excellent combination from leading striker Amri Zaky.
Despite a poor first half display, APR youngsters displayed a better comeback in the second half of the game.
However, their comeback in the second half was mulled by poor finishing as preferred strikers Jean Belinga, Elias Uzamukunda and substitute Eric Serugaba failed to utilize vital goal scoring chances which would have enabled APR to win the day’s game.
It was Cameroonian import Atcham Atcham who struck a 90th minute goal to give the nine time local champions hope in the second leg.
The military failed to repeat the 2004 success where they mauled the Egyptian side 4-1 at Amahoro stadium in the second round of the lucrative African championship.
Elsewhere, In Kampala Uganda’s league champions URA lost to visiting Zambian side Zesco 0-2 at Namboole stadium.
Today, Rwanda’s other representative Rayon Sport returns to continental football action after a two-year hiatus with a Caf Confederations Cup tie away to Ethiopia champions Harar Beer.
The Blues have not competed on the continent since 2006 when they fell out 1-3 aggregate to Egypt’s Al Ittihad Al-Iskandary and need a comfortable win to carry to the return leg due in a fortnight in Kigali.
The Blues had won the preliminary round by defeating Ethiopia’s Awassa City 2-0 on goal aggregates.
Rayon never took part in the 2007 edition after finishing third in the Primus national football league giving a chance to Atraco to make their maiden appearance in the continental championship.
Rayon Sport Coach Raoul Shungu said he is aiming for a calm win ahead of the return back home. “We have prepared a winning team and we need an attacking game so as to score more goals,” Shungu on Friday before the team’s departure to Ethiopia.
Inspirational goalkeeper Lawrence Webo and strikers Jimmy Gatete and Kamana Bokota are the other players to watch in today’s game.
The blues will host the Ethiopian side in Kigali on March 1-2 at Nyamirambo stadium.
If the blues win, they will face a rough test against the Sudanese giants Al Merreikh in the second round.