AS Kigali’s Justin Mico had an outstanding game as he partnered Jimmy Mbaraga on the striking line against El Jadida yesterday at Stade de Kigali.jpg
Caf Confederation Cup
AS Kigali 1-0 El Jadida
How Mine 2-1 Bayelsa Utd
RWANDA Peace Cup winners AS Kigali maintained their perfect home record, registering a 1-0 win against Difaa El Jadida in the first leg of the 1/8th round of the Caf Confederation Cup played yesterday at Stade de Kigali.
Teenager,Jean Paul Niyonzima came off the bench to score the only goal of the encounter after 67 minutes, capitalizing a Jimmy Mbaraga’s cross to give his side a first leg cushioning.
It was the third successive win for the debutants, after registering the same goal margin in the previous matches against Burundian champions Academie Tchite and Sudanese Ahly Shendi in the past two rounds.
It was a well-deserved win for the home side which was playing in front of many fans for the first time after the local football federation scrapped off entry fees.
Burly midfielder Naby Sounaa led raids into AS Kigali halve but failed to land the breakthrough during a first half they dominated.
AS Kigali had two attempts in the first half from Justin Mico and Amin Mwizerwa as they played a defensive game.
On two occasions, AS Kigali goalie Emery Mvuyekure who will miss the second leg due to two accumulative yellow cards was to his side’s rescue saving a Johan Boukamba goal-bound cross on the 3rd minute, before denying Sounaa on the 23rd minute.
AS Kigali continued to maintain their calm with Hamidou Ndayisaba, Rodriquez Murengezi and Mohammed Kabura relying on counter attacks to distribute balls to Jimmy Mbaraga and Justin Mico.
In the second half, Jadida continued to take control of the midfield with Sounaa and Bakre Helari winning all balls in the midfield.
Ten minutes into the second half, Helari was unlucky as his curling shot was saved by impressive central defender James Tubane.
As Jadida continued to use the left flank for their executions, Coach Andre Casa Mbungo brought in Janvier Mutijima replacing Mwemere Girinshuti. Hakiri Mabura and Jean Paul Niyonzima also came in replacing Hamidou Ndayisaba and Amin Mwizerwa.
Mvuyekure made a reflex save on 60th minute as substitute Ayoub Nanah who has scored five goals in this competition, stretched him only to punch the ball away out of the pitch.
Mvuyekure who was teary at the end of the game received a yellow card for holding the ball outside the goal area as he battled to clear the ball off Nanaa’s foot. This was his second yellow card in two matches after he was booked in the return leg against Ahly Shendi in Khartoum early this month.
As Jadida pushed for a goal, defender Patrick Umwungeri connected a long ball to skipper Jimmy Mbaraga who eliminated Adil Sassa to set up a sharp cross to Niyonzima and the latter made no mistake, heading the ball into Zouhair Laroub’s goal.
As minutes ran out, Nanah and Sounaa had their efforts clearly put off bay by impressive Mvuyekure who proved a mark in the stands.
Coach Cassa hailed his players and urged them to remain focused for the return leg. “This is a win for the nation. I am proud of my boys despite facing a good tactical, physical side, we managed to win,”
“We have a lot of work to do in the return since our first choice goalie has joined the exit chamber of players whom we will miss but we will head to Morocco to defend our lone goal,” added Cassa.
His counterpart, Abdelhak Benchikha who is optimistic on qualification said, “It was unfortunate that we lost having dominated the game. We still have a chance of overturning the result at home. I believe we will finish off AS Kigali,”
The second leg will take place next weekend with the winner advancing to the play-off round stage.