Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars need to plug out holes exposed by Ethiopia in their 2-1 over the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in their 2010 World/Africa Cup qualifier held in Addis Abeba on Sunday.
Though Amavubi continued with their impressive form by winning away from home and had recorded another victory at home a fortnight ago, many loop holes marred their victory over Ethiopia.
However, the victory should also be a fearful battle cry to the Atlas Lions of Morocco when they come visiting this weekend. The win against Ethiopia was, in all equality, deserved.
Rwanda had few chances of reaching the goal but those chances could have won by an even bigger margin if the strikers were real poachers.
Said Abedi Makasi’s failure to convert a one-on-one against the Ethiopia custodian was a bad start for Rwanda whose move resulted in Ethiopia’s lone goal when Tafese Tesfaye showed he had pace to burn to reach a long punt over Hamad Ndikumana and rolled the ball home on the 25th minute.
Rwanda overcame pressure in the second half as Abedi put to good use of the Patrick Mafisango free kick heading beating Ethiopian defenders to head home on the 69th minute.
Another crucial chance came on 75th minute when Bokota Labama Kamana failed to score an already counted goal, whose cross was created by Eric Gasana from the left wing.
The game plan suddenly changed for Rwanda after scoring equalizer forcing the hosts to search for the second goal thus giving a chance for Rwanda to attack from the midfield which seemed inactive initially.
Olivier Karekezi scored a classic goal from Abedi’s lay-on, which denied the Ethiopian custodian top grasp as the shot reflected on his defender on the 89th minute. So was it all good? Not really, for there were worries in Rwanda’s midfield and defense display.
After Sadou Boubakary injured his ankle, Ndikumana faced a torrid game guarding Tesfaye who also grabbed the lone goal for Rwanda. Even Sadou’s replacement, Ismail Nshutinamagara didn’t display his best defensive tactics as he earned himself an unnecessary yellow card to take Amavubi’s tally to three.
Boubakary and Haruna Niyonzima had braced themselves with yellow cards at different intervals.
However, Elias Ntaganda and Aloua Gaseruka playing on right and left wings impressed as they dropped back to assist the central defenders.
The central pair of Ndikumana and Nshutinamagara in the second half displayed a determined wall in the area, cutting off crosses and direct balls into their area.
Eric Gasana and Haruna Niyonzima who were supposed to give strength to Rwanda’s Mafisango and Karekezi in the midfield play on left and right side repeatedly lost possession but their second half show was better.
Bokota’s services upfront didn’t offer much potency in attack but even failed to win balls and also, his shooting abilities were extremely poor.
Though Abedi missed an easy chance to score in the first half goal, the DR. Congo born striker made amends after the interval by scoring the equalizer and setting up Karekezi’s winner.
With Morocco next this weekend, Amavubi Stars must be wise enough and take the game to the opponent from the first whistle is they’re going to clinch maximum points on home soil.