Dicha came from behind to force a one-all draw against Zimamoto. Hakim Khamis Ali’s opener was cancelled out by Arafat Djako at brink of half time as both sides shared the spoils.
Zimamoto started off the duel on a high note with multiple chances they created lacking accuracy and perfect execution. Meanwhile the ‘Bees of Tona’ as Wolaitta Dicha are nicknamed, were superior in ball possession for the majority of the first half but the home side looked dangerous on attempts at goal.
Ali broke the deadlock two minutes after the half hour mark when a good delivery from the flank gave him time and space to head home from close range leaving Dicha’s goalie Wondwosen Geremew helpless.
The visitors persisted on their ball possession, which was mostly around their half, and piled pressure till the end of the first interval. Togolese striker Djako equalized for the visitors in the 43rd minute. Midfielder Dagim Bekele’s shot was parried by Zimamoto custodian Nassor Mrisho Salim but Djako was inside the area to grab the leveler and what seem to be crucial away goal for the debutants.
After resumption, Dicha’s dominance in controlling the tempo of the game grew although they failed to create any meaningful efforts on goal whilst Zimamoto came the closest to take the lead the back through a direct free-kick which went over the cross bar.
Zimamoto pushed forward in the last quarter to get a winning goal as Wolaitta Dicha opted to defend the score line.
Dicha made history when they faced Zimamoto earlier to become the first non-Addis Ababa side to take part in continental club competition in a decade time, the last being Harar Beer.
Ten seasons ago Harar Beer took part in CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round and lost on penalties to Rwandan side Rayon Sports.
The return leg between Wolaitta Dicha and Zimamoto is slated for Wednesday, 21 February 2018 in Hawassa. The winner after both legs will set up date with Egyptian giants Zamalek at the 1/16thround.
Friday, 9 February 2018
Djoliba (Mali) vs ELWA United (Liberia)*
Onze Createurs (Mali) 1-1 CR Belouizdad (Algeria)
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Petro Atletico (Angola) 5-0 Masters Security (Malawi)
Young Buffaloes (Swaziland) 0-1 Cape Town City (South Africa)
Costa do Sol (Mozambique) 1-0 Jwaneng (Botswana)
Energie (Benin) 1-0 Hafia (Guinea)
Ngazi Sport (Comoros) 1-1 Port Louis (Mauritius)
Mangasport (Gabon) 0-1 Maniema Union (DR Congo)
Olympic Star (Burundi) 0-0 Etoile Filante (Burkina Faso)
New Stars (Cameroon) 2-1 Deportivo Niefang (Equatorial Guinea)
Tanda (Cote d’Ivoire) 0-0 CS la Mancha (Congo)
Al Ittihad (Libya) 1-0 Sahel (Niger)
El Masry (Egypt) 4-0 Green Buffaloes (Zambia)
US Ben Guerdane (Tunisia) vs Hilal Juba (South Sudan)**
Sunday, 11 February 2018
APR (Rwanda) 4-0 Anse Reunion (Seychelles)
Akwa United (Nigeria) 1-2 Hawks (Gambia)
Asante Kotoko (Ghana) 1-0 CARA (Congo)
AFC Leopards (Kenya) 1-1 FOSA Juniors (Madagascar)
Simba (Tanzania) 4-0 Gendarmerie (Djibouti)
RS Berkane (Morocco) 2-1 Mbour Petite Cote (Senegal)
Africa Sports (Cote d’Ivoire) 1-1 FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania)
Zimamoto (Zanzibar) 1-1 Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia)
*ELWA United withdrew
** US Ben Guerdane awarded a 3-0 win after Hilal Juba forfeited the match