Rwanda 1-1 Uganda
Rwanda U-20 national team, the ‘Junior Wasps’ was held to a 1-all draw by ten-man Uganda in the first leg of the 2017 African Youth Championship first qualification round on Saturday at Kigali Regional Stadium in Nyamirambo.
The home side took the lead in the 18th minute through forward Blaise Itangishaka, who headed in captain Savio Nshuti’s wonderful cross while striker Edrissa Lubega equalized for the visitors in the 34th minute after navigating two central Rwanda defenders.
Jean-Baptite Kayiranga’s team dominated the game especially in the second half, with good combination play from Rayon Sports trio Jabber Imanishimwe, Kevin Muhire and Savio Nshuti.
Imanishimwe, Salum Yamini, Muhire and Itangishaka missed chances to increase Rwanda's tally, as a win would put them in a good position to qualify for the next round.
Yamini had two good attempts on target in the first half but were all kept at bay by goalkeeper Saidi Keni, who was later sent off after handling the ball outside his territory and in the process also fouled Marine FC forward Itangishaka. Keefa Kisaala’s Hippos were slightly the better team in the first half and missed several chances to score through Emma Oringa, Halid Lwaliwa and captain Edrissa Mugume.
“We ‘re disappointed not to win today, so we shall need to work even harder in the second leg if we’re to have a chance to advance to the next round,” Kayiranga said.
Uganda’s Emma Oringa and Hassan Musana were booked while Rwandans including Nshuti and Aman Niyonkuru also went into the referee’s book.
The return leg will be played on April 23 in Kampala and the winner of this tie will face Egypt at home in the second round on the weekend of May 20-22 before playing in Egypt on the weekend of June 10-12.
It was the second time in the space of a year that the arch rivals meet in youth qualifiers after they faced off last year in the Africa Under-23 Championship qualifiers with Uganda winning 4-1 on aggregate.
Twenty (20) teams will be involved in the opening round, with eyes on the places in the second round and eventually the final lap, where seven teams will qualify to join the hosts Zambia for the final tournament.