AMAVUBI Stars assistant coach Eric Nshimiyimana has admitted that Rwanda still have a chance to reach the finals of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Sudan.
Sellas Tetteh’s youthful team registered an important 1-all draw against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in the first leg of the final qualifying phase played on Saturday at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
“We will need to be at our best in the return leg because any slight mistake, we could miss out once again and hand Tanzania the chance to qualify for the finals.
“After taking the lead (in the first leg), we conceded an equalizer due to a defensive blunder (by Donatien Tuyisenge, who was beaten by Mrisho Ngassa on the left frank),” noted Tetteh’s assistant.
He added, “We have a good team and Tanzania have a good side too but we have the advantage of playing in-front of our fans in the return.”
“We have not achieved anything yet but a scoring draw away from home is not a bad result either. We have to put on a better performance in the return leg to realize our dream of qualifying for the tournament,” stressed Nshimiyimana, who led Amavubi to the final of last year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Nairobi but lost 2-0 to Uganda Cranes.
Amavubi Stars took the lead on the 37th minute through Police striker Rogers Tchouassi before Mrisho Ngasa leveled for the home side in the 60th minute.
Skipper of the day Haruna Niyonzima played a vital role in the midfield but he didn’t get enough support from his midfield partners on either flank Jamal Mwiseneza and Jean Claude Iranzi.
After going behind, Tanzania pushed forward in search of an equalizer and the pressure dully paid off with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Even after getting the equalizer, the hosts continued to pile more pressure on the visitors, forcing them in their half for the most part of the second half.
Victory of any margin for Tetteh’s team on June 5 at Amahoro Stadium is enough to guarantee Rwanda a place at next year’s finals in Sudan.