2014 World Cup qualifier
Eritrea 1-1 Rwanda
Comoros 0-1 Mozambique
Djibouti 0-4 Namibia
IN Elias Uzamukunda a.k.a Baby, Amavubi have a striker who knows how to come off the bench and rescue the team.
The AS Cannes striker breathed life back into Rwanda’s 2014 Fifa World Cup qualification campaign just when it seemed close to expiring.
Baby’s impact after replacing Rayon Sport’s Bokota Labama in the 45th minute was particularly uplifting for Amavubi’s new head coach Milutin Sredojevic Micho. The Serbian responded to the goal by repeatedly punching in the air before embracing his coaching staff.
Eritrea had taken a first-half lead through Pedro Abraham in front of a capacity crowd at Cicero stadium in Asmara following a defensive blunder from Amavubi’s center-backs.
Bokota, Meddie Kagere and Olivier Karekezi were also guilty of missing clear scoring opportunities in the first-half.
Rwanda now needs a win or goalless draw to progress to the group stage.
Elsewhere, Namibia got their campaign to a flying start after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Djibouti.
The Brave Warriors broke the deadlock in the 14th minute through South Africa-based striker Rudolf Bester.
He doubled the lead in the 52nd minute before Henrico Boates made it 3-0 two minutes later.
Mozambique also put one foot into the group stage after a 1-0 win over Comoros. Miro was the hero of the day.
The second legs of the preliminary qualifiers are slated for Tuesday.
Five teams will represent Africa in Brazil.
Amavubi team: Jean Claude Ndoli, Mao Kalisa, Frederic Ndaka, Ismail Nshutiyamagara, Eric Gasana, Hussein Sibomana, Meddy Kagere, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza, Bokota Labama (Elias Uzamukunda), Olivier Karekezi and Haruna Niyonzima.