Amavubi storm CHAN 2016 quarters

A brace from AS Kigali striker Ernest Sugira was enough to send hosts Rwanda through to the quarter-finals of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Sugira wheels away to celebrate his goal. (T. Kisambira)
Sugira wheels away to celebrate his goal. (T. Kisambira)

Result

Rwanda 2-1 Gabon
Morocco 0-1 Ivory Coast

Today

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A brace from AS Kigali striker Ernest Sugira was enough to send hosts Rwanda through to the quarter-finals of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Amavubi’s 2-1 victory over Gabon at Amahoro National Stadium yesterday makes Rwanda the first nation to reach the knockout stages of the biennial tournament.

The hosts took the lead in the 42nd minute after skipper Jacques Tuyisenge took on two Gabonese defenders inside the area, only to see his effort blocked.

But Sugira was in the right place at the right time to calmly beat goalkeeper Yves Bitseki Moto from the loose ball.

Sugira, who was named the Orange Man of the Match, was drafted in to replace Danny Usengimana who had failed to impress in the opener against Ivory Coast.

Johnny McKinstry’s boys returned for the second half showing more intent, with Sugira doubling the lead in the 47th minute after sleekly beating a Gabonese defender.

By then, it looked like it would rain goals at a fully packed Amahoro National Stadium, but Amavubi continued to squander chance after another.

Gabon pulled a goal back in the 55th minute through Aaron Boupedza but just as they chased down an equaliser, Tchen Kabi was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The final whistle sent the ecstatic fans into a frenzy as the nation celebrated.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast beat Morocco 1-0 in Group A late game to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.

Rwanda’s final group game against Morocco – on 1 point – will be for the north-African sides to decide own fate as they fight for the remaining qualifying spot with Gabon (also on 1 point).

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