Central African Republic 2-1 Rwanda
Côte d’Ivoire 2-3 Guinea
A lapse in concentration in the last minute saw Rwanda national football team (Amavubi) lose 2-1 in the opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Central African Republic in a Group H match played on Sunday at Stade Barthelemy Boganda in Bangui.
With the score level at 1-1 and only seconds left to blow the final whistle, Franklin Anzite netted the winning goal for CAR.
Forward Junior Guye had given Central African Republic the lead two minutes after the half time break and Ernest Sugira equalised forAmavubi in the 90+2 minute, and while it looked as though the visitors would only walk away with a point, Anzite netted the winner seconds away from the last whistle.
Raoul Savoy’s team took advantage of Amavubi players’ lapse in concentration immediately after equalizing. Amavubi players went to celebrate Sugira’s equaliser and forgot to get back into their places to defend properly.
Central African Republic dominated the first half and Rwanda came back stronger in the second half but skipper Haruna Niyonzima, Jacques Tuyisenge and Sugira failed to use the chances created by the two wing backs, Michel Rusheshangoga and Emmanuel Imanishimwe.
The Central Africa Republic are one of the African nations that have never qualified for the AFCON finals and with this win, they’ll behoping to book their place at the 2019 final tournament in Cameroon.
Rwanda is still aiming to qualify for the second time in the AFCON tournament having last appeared 13 years ago in Tunisia.
Meanwhile on Saturday night, Guinea claimed a surprise 3-2 away win over Ivory Coast at Bouake Stadium.
The match at the Bouake Stadium saw the Elephants’ Seydou Doumbia score twice, but the visitors twice struck back before netting a late winner through rising star Naby Keita to claim all three points.
Guinea and Central African Republic are joint on top of Group H table with 3 points each while Ivory Coast, champions in 2015, and Rwanda, are on bottom without a point after one round of matches.
The next fixture will be placed between March and November 2018 – only the top team qualify automatically and will be joined by the three best second-placed sides along with the hosts Cameroon.