CAR 2-1 Rwanda
Côte d’Ivoire 2-3 Guinea
Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey has said that “two mistakes” cost Rwanda in the 2-1 loss against Central African Republic in the first 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Group H on Sunday at Stade Barthelemy Boganda in Bangui.
After the match, Hey said, “We came here to win the game but we failed. In the first half we struggled a bit because of the weather and the high winds and, in the second half, we played better but two mistakes cost us at least a point.”
“Despite conceding so early in the second half, we managed to regroup and played much better. The equalising goal was well deserved, but again we made another mistake in the very last minute of the match,” Hey noted.
Striker Junior Gourrier gave CAR the lead two minutes after the half time break and Ernest Sugira equalised for Amavubi in the 90+2 minute but Salif Keita netted the winner just seconds from the full time whistle.
Rwanda saw very little of the ball in the first 45 minutes and spent most of the half defending, which saw the game go into the half time break locked at 0-0. Central African Republic have never lost at home since 2010.
However, Central African Republic coach Raoul Savoy said his team deserved the win because they were the better team on the field.
“Our goal was to win and we did what we had to do. Rwanda were difficult opponents from the start to the end, they played a cautious game waiting to hit us on the counter, but we’re happy to win,” Savoy said.
The win ensured CAR’s AFCON 2019 qualifying campaign was off to a positive start, and they occupy second spot in Group H with three points, same as group leaders Guinea, who stunned the 2015 champions Ivory Coast 3-2 in Abidjan on Saturday. Ivory Coast and Rwanda are third and fourth, respectively, without a point.
Amavubi are expected in Kigali Tuesday morning aboard a Kenya Airways flight. The next AFCON 2019 qualifiers will be played between March and November 2018.