Gor Mahia picked a point on the road after holding hosts Rayon Sports to a 1-1 draw in the Caf Confederation Cup Group D opener in Kigali on Sunday.
Meddie Kagere stunned the local fans with an opener for Gor Mahia but his effort was canceled out 15 minutes later through a beautifully taken free-kick.
The former KF Tirana striker gave Gor Mahia the lead with only 10 minutes gone on the clock after he rounded his compatriot Erick Ndayishimiye to break the ice at a water-logged stadium in Nyamirambo.
The host came close to pulling an equalizer five minutes later from a set piece but Boniface Oluoch collected the threat as Gor Mahia survived a scare.
Kagere then linked up with on form Francis Kahata but the latter’s header missed the target by a few inches. Gor Mahia had just survived another scary moment after Oluoch parried a Yannick Mukunzi shot from a resultant corner in the 16th minute.
Eric Rutanga restored parity for the hosts with a well taken free-kick in the 24th minute that gave Oluoch little time to think. Ndayishimiye denied Kagere from close range just moments later after the skies opened in Kigali but that did not dent the spirit of K’Ogalo, who won a corner in the 24 minute.
The Kenyan champions went into the break a better side with 61 percent ball possession but the waterlogged pitch did not make things any better after the restart. Kagere stole a ball, fired a vicious shot but his effort was ruled out for an offside.
K’Ogalo continued to pile pressure on the Rwandan champions. Joash Onyango was denied by the crossbar in the 53rd minute from an attempted header floated in by George Odhiambo.
Kahata blew away a glorious chance after Kagere picked him out with a neat pass in the area, but the former Thika United’s left foot strike missed the target by a few inches.
Lawrence Juma was brought in for Odhiambo with six minutes remaining on the clock. Coach Dylan Kerr will also have to worry about a knock sutained by key striker Jacques Tuyisenge in the tail end of the game.
The Rwandan striker paid for his solo effort after he beat three defenders, sets up Wendo but the midfielder’s first touch let him down. Tuyisenge went to the ground injured from a late lunge.
Rayon Sports XI: Eric Bakame, Faustin Usengimana, Mutsinzi Ange, Migabo Gabriel, Sadam Nyandwi, Hussein Shabani Tchabalala, Yannick Mukunzi, Christ Mbondi, Ismailla Diarra, Muhire Kevin and Eric Rutanga,
Gor Mahia XI: Boniface Oluoch, Haron Shakava, Joash Onyango, Godfrey Walusimbi, Otieno Philemon, Humprey Mieno, Francis Kahata, Ernest Wendo, George Odhiambo, Meddie Kagere and Jacques Tuyisenge.
Subs: Shaban Odhoji, Ephrem Guikan, Kevin Omondi, Momanyi Charles, Cersidy Okeyo and Lawrence Juma.