Rwandan champions Rayon Sports Fc surged into the Caf Confederation Cup group phase for the first time by trouncing Clube de Desportos da Costa do Sol of Mozambique despite losing 0-2 on Tuesday in a playoff second leg.
The Rwandan league giants advanced 3-2 on aggregate to the 16-club mini-league stage after winning the first leg 3-0 in Kigali 10 days ago.
Hosts Clube de Desportos da Costa do Sol earned two first half goals courtesy of Nelson Nesto in the 34th minute and Tisdell Terence on stroke of half time. The home side also missed a penalty.
In the second half, Rayon Sport Fc head coach Ivan Jacky Minnaert made two changes bringing centre back Faustin Usengimana for Saddam Nyandwi and Kevin Muhire for Mugisha Francois and Ismailla Diarra for Christ Mbondi.
In the second half, there were minimal chances from both sides but Shaban Hussein Tchabalala and Christ Mbondi had a few chances but could not convert them past Costa do Sol goalkeeper.
The Blues held onto their toes and defended well to only concede two goals. The result granted a historical qualification for the blues to the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup Group stages.
Elsewhere, Tuesday’s CAF Confederation Cup playoff round, second-leg matches saw AS Vita, ASEC Mimosas, USM Alger and Al Masry advance into the group stage of the continental competition.
The day’s action kicked off in spectacular style in Pointe-Noire, where the Congolese derby between hosts CS La Mancha and DRC visitors AS Vita ended in a 5-1 win for the away side, thanks to four goals from Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele.
The victory sealed a 6-1 aggregate triumph for Vita, who became the first team to qualify for the Confed Cup group stage.
They were joined by Ivory Coast giants ASEC Mimosas, who showed their resilience in claiming a goalless draw away to Algeria’s CR Belouizdad. Having won the first leg 1-0, the Black and Yellows advanced by the narrowest outright margin.
While Belouizdad were unable to overturn a first-leg deficit, their compatriots USM Alger had no such problems against Nigeria’s Plateau United. Two goals to one down from the first match, the North Africans claimed a 4-0 home win – featuring goals from Oussama Darfalou and Kadour Beldjilali – to advance 5-2 on aggregate.
The final match of the day took place in Port Said, Egypt, and saw hosts Al Masry edge CF Mounana of Gabon 2-1 to advance 3-2 on aggregate. Mohamed Koffi and Esalm Eisa netted the goals for the North Africans.
The group stage line-up will be completed by 12 further matches on Wednesday, April 18. The draw for the group stage is set for Saturday, April 21 in Cairo.