Amavubi storm finals
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Tanzania 1-2 Rwanda
Third place playoff
Zanzibar v Tanzania 1pm SS3
Uganda v Rwanda 3pm SS3
NAIROBI – Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars are just a win away from claiming their second Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup title after dismissing Tanzania 2-1 in a hotly contested semifinal clash played last evening at Nyayo national stadium, Nairobi.
After a barren first half, Amavubi’s leading goal scorer at the tournament Yusuf Ndayishime put Rwanda ahead on the hour mark after beating off the challenge of a Tanzanian defender from near the halfway line before shooting past the advancing Tanzania goalkeeper Muharami Muhamed for his fourth goal of the tournament.
Team captain Patrick Mafisango extended Amavubi’s lead with one of the goals of the tournament when he danced through the Tanzanian defence before blasting past Muhamed in the 80th minute.
But two minutes later, Mussa Mgosi pulled one back for the Kilimanjaro Stars in controversial fashion. Kenyan referee Thomas Onyango let play to continue despite what seemed to be a foul on Rwandan goalkeeper Jean Luc Ndayishimiye.
Rwanda’s two goals came after Marcimo Maximo’s side had been reduced to ten men after the sending off of their central defender Kevin Yolandi after a second bookable offence.
That sending off brought new life into Eric Nshimiyimana’s youthful team, who went on the offensive in search for more goals.
Rwanda also had defender Didier Kapet controversially sent off in the fourth time of stoppage time for allegedly insulting Ugandan assistant referee Hussein Bugembe.
The APR defender, who was only returning from a one game suspension, will now miss the final against Uganda Cranes on Sunday.
It was a hard fought but fairly deserved win for Rwanda, who have now qualified for their fifth Cecafa final since 1999 and the third since 2003 when they lost 2-0 against Uganda Cranes in Khartoum, Sudan.
After the game, which started so well for both side but ended bitterly, Nshimiyimana could not hide his frustration at the referee’s decision.
“Tanzania are bad losers. When they lose, they start employing dirty tricks. Nonetheless, I am happy we’re through to the final and the game against Uganda will be very different because Uganda don’t play a dirty game,” he noted.
Amavubi, seeking only their second title, are also in line to win the top cash award of $30,000 (Rwf17m) offered by the tournament sponsors- Orange.