Rwandan champions APR FC left the pitch at the Kigali Pele Stadium to jeers from their home supporters after being held to a 1-1 draw by Somali club Gaadiidka FC in the first leg of their CAF Champions League first round clash. Nicholas Kagaba gave the visitors from Somalia a shock lead in the first half before APR striker Victor Mbaoma equalized for the hosts early in the second half.
The local press in Rwanda predicted a thrashing for Gaadiidka at the hands of the country’s most successful club but the visitors came to prove their worth. The opening half hour of play showed APR to perhaps be more threatening but the difference between the two sides was not obvious before the visitors found a shock opener soon after the half hour mark.
APR goalkeeper Pavelh Ndzila went far out of his penalty area to play the ball but his clearance was intercepted by Kagaba on the right flank. Kagaba launched a hopeful shot towards goal and his effort was precise, just sneaking into the goal despite the desperate efforts of the Congolese goalkeeper and defender Fitina Omborenga to clear the ball.
The hosts rallied back to avoid embarrassment and it was Nigerian forward Mbaoma who equalized in the opening five minutes of the second half. The former Enyimba star arrived to fire in from a cross after the APR attack got behind the Gaadiidka defense on the right flank. However the visitors continued to be stubborn and held out for a draw when the full time whistle arrived. Due to lacking a suitable home venue, Gaadiidka will have to host the second leg in Kigali but will have plenty of confidence as well as an away goal to boost their cause.
Video of the goals from the first leg are below.