Africa Youth Championship Qualifiers, yesterday
Rwanda 2-1 Congo
Congo qualify 3-2 on aggregates
Kenya 1-0 Sudan
Burkina Faso 2-4 Benin
Sierra Leone 0-0 Gambia
Namibia 1-1 Ghana
Gabon 3-0 Angola
Tanzania 1-1 Cote d’Ivoire
RWANDA, hosts of last year’s Africa Youth Championship underwent a shock exit from the qualifying phase of the 2011 edition despite beating Congo 2-1 yesterday at Nyamirambo stadium.
The Junior Wasps came from behind to level on 43rd minute through striker Kipson Atuheire and an excellent goal from Jean Claude Iranzi on 53rd minute.
Boukama Kaye had put the visitors in the lead after beating skipper Amani Uwilingiyimana and looped a loose ball past goalie Patrick Rutayisire who was inches away from the goal post.
Prior to the game, the Junior Wasps faced a dressing room hardship which psychologically affected their mindset when Aimable Rucogoza was stopped from featuring in the second leg on age conditions.
Rucogoza who was born in 1990 didn’t meet age criteria to enable him feature in this year’s qualifiers.
Only players born in 1991 are allowed to compete in the qualifiers for next year’s African Youth championship according to match commissioner Suleiman from Eritrea.
If Rwanda had gone on to field Rucogoza, CAF would slap a ban on Rwanda’s U-20 because Congo was very much prepared to protest against the Rayon Sport defender.
Coach Sellas Tetteh replaced Rucogoza with upcoming defender Foster Usengimana in the central defense.
Usengimana played a vital role in yesterday’s victory though the country was short of two more goals to enable them reach the final qualifying round.
The Junior Wasps got four chances from Atuheire with three going off target before settling the other in the net.
Iranzi settled for two opportunities in the first half with one hitting a cross bar while the other went off target. Jamal Mwiseneza, Bienfait Kabanda and Abdul Karim Gashugi did a wonderful job in the midfield but luck was not on the Junior Wasps’ side as they went to miss plenty of other chances in the second half.
Makaya Henrino, Babele Jagesse and Boukama Kaya got clear opportunities to overturn the goal score but brilliant Rutayisire out them at bay.
With ten minutes to go, APR’s striker Emmanuel Sebanani wasted another opportunity as he dribbled past defender P’Kouka Garcia but his baggy ball went inches away from the far post to leave the whole stadium in depression.
Rwanda has followed Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania in the exit chamber of countries which failed to go past this qualifying round.
Ngorongoro Heroes, Tanzania’s U-20 team’s side dreams of making their maiden appearance in the Africa Youth Championship finals were shattered, after settling to a 1-1 draw with Ivory Coast in the return leg match.
After conceding a 1-0 defeat away in Abidjan in a first leg tie a fortnight ago, Heroes needed nothing short of a clear victory against the ‘Junior Elephants’ at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, but they failed to live to their billing.
Kenya’s under-20 team took a huge step towards qualifying for the Africa Youth Championships to be held next year in Libya after they beat Sudan 1-0 on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium.
The win was enough to see them go through 3-0 on aggregate.