Rwanda 2-0 Uganda (Agg. 2-3)
Rwanda have failed to qualify for the 2018 African Nations Championship finals despite beating Uganda 2-0 in the final qualification round second leg on Saturday at Kigali Stadium.
Uganda Cranes qualify on a 3-2 goal aggregate following a 3-0 win in the first leg last weekend in Kampala.
The hosts started the game in full energy and made their intension very clear to try to overturn the 3-0 deficit, right from the first whistle, and it took just eight minutes for midfielder Yannick Mukunzi to give them the lead with a beautiful header.
Antoine Hey’s men, who knew that they faced a daunting task to turn the tie in their favour, kept pushing and eventually extended the lead in the 16th minute through Dominique Savio Nshuti’s superb free-kick.
Leading 2-0 with less than 20 minutes on the clock and needing one more goal to take the tie into a penalty shoot-out, Amavubi kept pressing forward and not allowing Ugandan players space and time on the ball.
The Uganda Cranes’ defense, after falling behind 2-0, re-organized and managed to deal with every threat the Amavubi threw at them.
APR defender Aimable Nsabimana could have handed Rwanda a 3-0 lead in the 34th minute with a clear goal scoring chance but his shot went agonizingly wide of the post.
AS Kigali winger Savio Nshuti had a clear one-on-one opportunity in the 54th minute but Cranes’ goalkeeper Isma Bin Abdul Watenga was in good position to deny him.
Five minute later, the in-form 20-year took a good free-kick, which crashed off the crossbar before Watenga collected the rebound.
Amavubi, backed by a near-full capacity Kigali Stadium, continued to dominate their opponents, who resorted to playing long balls and were on the back-foot for the liking of the hundreds of their fans, some of whom had travelled from Kampala for the match.
Rwanda needed to score three or more goals to reach the CHAN finals tournament for the third time after appearances in 2011 and 2016, but it is Uganda that will represent the East and Central African Zone, along with the hosts Kenya.
The CHAN tournament, which is reserved for players, who feature in their respective domestic leagues across Africa, will be staged from January 11 to February 2.