As last gasp header sinks Rwanda
Uruguay 1-0 Rwanda
USA 1-2 Uzbekistan
JUST when the junior wasps thought they had earned a vital point at the Fifa U-17 World Cup, Leonardo Pais headed home to break the debutants’ hearts.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Rwanda, yet on the other hand, the Uruguayans, who defended stoutly, cemented their place in the round of 16.
Rwanda, in need of a win after losing their opener against England (0-2), came out flying against the South Americans. Richard Tardy’s boys showed great determination and comfortably took firm control of the midfield.
Inside the first five minutes, the youngsters had a pair of fine chances to score their first-ever goal at a FIFA competition; both coming from captain Emery Bayisenge free-kicks.
The first slammed off the bottom of the post while the second curled over the crossbar.
Rwanda dictated the pattern of play as the half wore on only to lose their inspirational defender Faustin Usengimana to what looked like a painful knee injury.
The South Americans took advantage of the early switch but the youngsters still finished the half strongly, with both Mwesigye Tibingana and Andrew Buteera testing Uruguay’s keeper Jonathan Cubero from acute angles.
The Uruguayans kicked-off the second half in the mood to attack. Gaston Silva hit a sharp free-kick, but Marcel Nzarora was up to the task with a fine save. Juan Cruz Mascia, Uruguay’s most potent attacking threat, followed up with a try of his own, but it flew over the bar from 12 yards in the 63rd minute.
With both teams unable to find the net, the match looked like it was headed for a goalless only for Pais to head home with the last action of the game.
The South Americans next play England in Torreon on Friday while Rwanda finish their group account against Canada, still searching for that elusive first point.