Team gets presidential pat on the back
Mali 0-2 Ghana
Cameroon 1-1 Rwanda
Rwanda’s U-20 team the Junior Wasps continued their impressive showing in the on going African Youth Championship when they frustrated favorites Cameroon to a 1-1 draw yesterday at Amahoro National stadium.
In the game that was attended among others by President Paul Kagame and his wife, the cubs(Cameroon) were the first to see the back of the net thanks to a Brice Owona strike on the 35th minute however their happiness was short-lived as the Junior Wasps leveled the score ten minutes later courtesy of a Yusuf Ndayishimiye header.
The first half ended with Cameroon having the loin’s share of possession however the Rwandans came back with renewed confidence as they pitched camp in Cameroon’s half for most of the second half.
In the first half the Wasps’ aerial ball strategy failed to bear fruits as the Cameroonians were better headers of the ball however things changed for better for the Rwandans as they retreated to sleek football in the second half.
Ndayishimiye’s header brought life in the team which had full home support.
The cubs piled on the pressure however it came to nothing thanks to the formidable Aimable Rucogoza and Arafat Serugendo partnership who kept Zoua Jacques Daougari and Owona at bay for most of the game.
Rwanda striking partnership of Ndayishimiye and Elias Uzamukunda failed to convert several chances which would have put the game beyond Cameroon’s reach.
The junior wasps will have also goalkeeper Jean Luc Ndayishimiye to thank for his heroics as he put in a man of the match performance to deny Cameroon several goal scoring opportunities.
The Atraco custodian was at no fault to deny Daogari and Charley Fomen chance to earn Cameroon its first three points of the tournament.
Team Coach Obradovic Tomislav hailed his players for the good game played and the focus was to win but even a draw will do no harm for Rwanda.
“It was a strong match and Rwanda played for victory but we had no luck as some of the chances created were not put to use,” Tomislav said. His counterpart Alain Wabo said that it was not an easy game but was all praises for the point earned from the game.
“It was a difficult game because we played against Rwanda which wanted qualification for the World Youth Cup. We are satisfied with a point got from Rwanda game,” Wabo said.
President Kagame urges team
After the game, the team’s number one fan President Paul Kagame urged the Junior wasps to work hard and correct the slight mistakes in the team if they are to clinch the AYC title at home.
“The President (Kagame) told us to desist from some of the mistakes committed on the field and maintain our good form as well as keep focused such that the continental trophy remains in Kigali,” skipper Haruna Niyonzima said, revealing to the press what the Rwandan President told the team after the game.
In the day’s other game, Ghana rocketed to the summit of Group A thanks to a 2-0 win over the group bottom side Mali.
Gladson Awakko and Osei Gladson were on target for the two time African champions.Ghana Coach Sellas Tetteh praised his squad saying that his team played a difficult game against Mali but managed to grab a win.
“We were more inspired and positive than Mali and this gave my players much determination thus scoring two goals from two headers,” Tetteh said.
Mali coach Djibril Drame said that his team was effective but lacked sharpness in front of the goal.
“One team (Mali) played football and the other won (Ghana).That’s the reality in football and nothing could be done. We missed several chances on top of dominating the game,” Drame said.
Mali chances of reaching the semifinal stage were over after losing two straight matches against Rwanda and Ghana. Mali faces Cameroon on Saturday while Ghana play hosts Rwanda.