Late strike from attacking midfielder Keenan Markneh was all that Ethiopia needed to beat Rwanda 1-0 at the Adama Science and Technology University Stadium in an international friendly on Sunday, March 19. The keenly-contested encounter was a preparatory outing for both countries ahead of their AFCON qualifiers with Amavubi side set to face Benin in Group L and Ethiopia facing Guinea. Rwandan coach Carlos Alos started with a 4-3-3 formation as he used Fred Muhozi, Bienvenue Mugenzi and Gilbert Mugisha as his attacking trio. They posed a threat to the Ethiopian defense with their interpositional play but failed to find the back of the net. Ethiopia had the first chance of the game in the quarter of the hour mark but Abel Yalew failed to score as Rwandan goalkeeper Fiacre Ntwari pulled off a great save. Teenager Hakim Sahabo was the driving force in the Rwandan team as he was the only player who could take the ball and go deep into the Ethiopian half. He got a number of freekicks but all were wasted as the first half came to an end with the scores goalless. In the second half, Rwanda defended as they pushed more men at the back and left Bienvenue Mugenzi as the lone ranger upfront. The Ethiopians piled pressure with incessant through balls to the Amavubi vital area. Meddie Kagere, who was on the bench, was introduced in the 75th minute for Kevin Muhire as the veteran striker was able to get behind the Ethiopian defense on two occasions. The Ethiopians finally broke the deadlock of the game in the 83rd minute after poor defending in the Rwandan penalty box saw Keenan Markneh hitting a shot into the net with goalkeeper Ntwari having no chance. Both teams played cautiously in the final seven minutes of the game as it ended Ethiopia 1 Rwanda 0. Carlos Alos Ferrer has a few days to fix his side’s technical errors before his men face Benin in Porto-Novo on March 22.