Orange Champions League
APR 1-0 TP Mazembe
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RWANDA’s champions APR out on a determined performance recorded a deserved victory over DR Congo’s African champions TP Mazembe in the first leg 1/16th round clash of the Orange CAF Champions League yesterday at Amahoro stadium.
Albert Ngaboyisibo came from the bench substituting injured Abbas Rassou to score the lone goal of the game on the 88th minute.
The Rwandan international defender didn’t have the best of games on the day but made up for his earlier mistakes when he overlapped from his rightback position, cutting inside the Mazembe central defence, dribbled past Hichani Himonde and Jean Kasusule to slot a powerful near-post shot past goalie Robert Kidiaba.
Before the goal, APR had earlier wasted three very good scoring chances through Victor Nyirenda and his Malawian compatriot Chikuepo Msowoya, but it was substitute Labama Bokota, who wasted the best chance of the game.
Deep in the second half, Chikuepo had another chance to find the net but his shot was cleared by goalkeeper Kidiaba, who was outstanding for Mazembe as he played a big role between the sticks.
The second half was full of scoring chances on either end but neither side could find the net.
TP Mazembe skipper, Tressor Mputu on whom all eyes were fixted, failed to make any meaningful impact in the game playing behind front pair of Given Singuluma and Sabastian Mwenza. Singuluma was replaced by Alain Kaluyituka while Kabangu Mulotapatou came on for Mwenza as the reigning champions searched for an away goal.
Both side missed a couple of good scoring opportunities in the first half. APR hit the post.
TP Mazembe played in the presence of club chairman and governor of mineral-rich Katanga Province Moise Katumbi,whose arrival at the stadium along with RDF Chief of Defence Staff Gen. James Kabarebe, was greeted with wild cheers.
Jean Baptista Mugiraneza curved in a good cross but Malawian international Nyirenda’s header hit the goalpost when goalie Kidiaba was left stuck on the goal line.
Nyirenda had earlier missed the first chance of the game on the fifth minute when his countryman Msowoya played his through but defender Mihayo Pamphile clear before Nyirenda made good contact with the ball.
On the other hand, Mputu tormented APR defender Didier Kapet on a number of occasions but could do much with the final ball.
The return leg will be played on the weekend of April 3-4 in Lumumbashi.