Rayon Sports would have been hoping for a more emphatic start in CAF Champions League preliminary round but are not well placed to advance in the African Champions League first round after 1-1 draw home against Sudanese side Al Hilah Club at Kigali Stadium.
Rayon, who is hoping to reach in the group stages for the second time after 2018 campaign in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup, dominated both halves possession and had several chances but seemed to fade away in the tropical evening heat as they made their bow into the 2019 edition.
Rayon scored the opening goal in the 19th minute through Michael Sarpong thanks to the assist from Jean Claude Iranzi who exchanged ball with Hussein Ciza.
In the 25th minute, Al Hilal netted the equalizing goal through striker Nazir Hamid Nassir. The goal came after miscommunication between Rayon central defender Hussein Habimana and goalie Yves Kimenyi.
Hilal goalie Yonis Altayeb Hassan saved Sudan side three time as Rayon and the ball bouncing back into play.
Rayon Sports started the game with a lot of pressings and in the ninth minute Jules Ulimwengu missed the chance to put his ahead in the 10th minute.
One minute later Jean Claude Iranzi made strong attack his short went wide. Two minutes later, Al Hilal's goalkeeper Yonis Altayeb Hassan put the ball in corner after strong long range shot of Fabrice Mugheni Kakule.
Al Hilal had a lot of pressings when Rayon started to distribute the ball which was very tough to players like Hussein Ciza, Jules Ulimwengu.
In the 44th minute, goalkeeper Yves Kimenyi made a great save after Nazir Hamid headed strong ball from the left flank.
After the break, Rayon Sports came closest to score second goals but Sarpong and Ulimwengu failed to hit the target.
The return will be played in a fortnight in Omdurman with winner scheduled to face either former African champions Enyimba of Nigeria or Rahimo of Burkina Faso.