Rwanda's APR had to come from behind to overcome Anse Reunion of Seychelles 2-1 at Stade Linite in Mahe on Tuesday for a 6-1 aggregate victory.
The Rwandan Army team won the first leg 4-0 at home last week and made easy work of their host to complete a double and secure their place at the next round.
APR started in dominant mood but found it hard to break down a well marshalled Anse Reunion defence that worked hard to keep them at bay.
The visitors went close to breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute from Chaffi Songayingabo's long ball to Fitina Omborenga, who chest trapped the ball but his fierce shot came off the foot of the post of goalie Ricky Rose.
The homers stunned their opponents in the 34th minute from Tanzanian Rashid Gambo's floated free kick which was met by Yelvanny Rose's towering header past goalie Yves Kimenyi for a 1-0 lead at half time.
APR levelled matters three minutes into the second period from another set piece where Muhadjiri Hakizimana lofted a free kick into the penalty area and there was defender Herve Rugwiro whose thumping header found refuge in the net.
The Rwandan Army team were buzzing as the home team looked to ran out of steam and they conceded a second in the 62nd minute from substitute Djihad Bizimana ball to Hakizimana who in turn flicked a header into the path of Issa Bigirimana who fired past goalie 40-year old Rose to make it 2-1.
The visiting side then game managed the closing minutes to secure a comfortable victory to move to the second round where they will face Djoliba of Mali.
Ted Esther (Head Coach, Anse Reunion)
We held our own in the first half where our defensive set up was very effective. We gave a much better performance and the players can hold their heads high. There have been a lot of lessons learnt. We need to be better prepared physically to compete at this level and this proved our downfall in this two legged fixture.
Eddy Randriamihaja (Captain, Anse Reunion)
It was not an easy match as our opponent was very experienced. We worked hard to counter them. Our performance was satisfactory though our physical condition was not up to scratch to match our opponent.
Jimmy Mulisa (Head Coach, APR)
It was a good performance on a whole from my players as we managed to accomplish our mission. We had lots of possession but got caught in the first half from a set piece. I liked the way my players responded to score twice and confirm our win in both legs.
Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (Captain, APR)
We played well in this away fixture though a lapse in concentration caused us to concede a goal in the first half. Having won 4-0 at home, we wanted to win the second leg as well and finally succeeded in winning against a good opponent.