THREE-TIME CECAFA champions APR were held to a goalless draw by Burundi's Olympic Atletico in their second Group C match played yesterday at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The military side came into the game with confidence sky high following their 7-0 thrashing of Wau El Salaam of South Sudan but it is their opponents, Atletico who had the upper hand for most of the game, creating the clearer goal scoring opportunities.
The draw leaves both teams level on four points, but the Rwandan champions lead the group on goal difference. However, APR's Dutch coach Ernie Brandts was satisfied with the point, "It was a tough game because both teams didn't want to lose, so we are happy with the draw."
"Atletico started well and had more chances than us in front of goal but we played better in the second half. They missed a very good chance in the dying minutes," admitted the former Dutch international.
Lionel St. Preux, Olivier Karekezi and Selemani Ndikumana were all put on bay by the Burundian defenders led by veteran skipper Hassan Ndayishimiye. Ndikumana got APR's best chance on a quick counter attack but shot wide from close range.
Didier Kavumbagu, a transfer target for APR rivals Police FC, had Atletico's two best chances but failed to find the target on both occasions.
The Burundian international forward was denied, first on the 30th minute as he tried to turn in a rebound after Henry Mbazumutima shot had been parried away by APR keeper Jean Claude Ndoli.
The former TP Mazembe striker thought he had won it for the Burundian champions with two minutes left but his hurried attempt after he had outpaced defender Mbuyu Twite, went agonisingly inches wide of bottom of Jean Claude Ndoli's right hand post.
Defending champions Yanga, who were beaten 2-0 in the first game by Atletico, moved into third position with three points after beating Wau El Salaam 7-1 in the day's second game.
Action continues today with DR Congo's Vita Club playing Uganda Revenue Authority, as Djibouti's Ports square off against Tanzania's Simba in Group A.
URA beat Simba 2-0 on Sunday, while Vita Club humiliated Ports 7-0 on the same day, with Rwandan international Dady Birori helping himself to a hat trick.