Group C results
Rwanda 0-0 Algeria
Egypt 1-1 Zambia
Rwanda’s quest for the 2010 World/Africa Nations’ Cup spot received a major boost after group favorites Egypt were held 1-1 at home by visiting Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) of Zambia.
The draw between Zambia and Egypt threw the group wide open as all teams are tied on one point from the one game played so far.
Rwanda drew 0-0 at home with Algeria.
The copper bullets came from behind to force a 1-1 draw with the record African nation’s cup winners at the imposing at Cairo military Stadium on Sunday.
Wigan on loan striker Amr Zaki put the Pharaohs ahead on 27 minutes only for Zambian army side Green Buffaloes defender Dennis Banda to equalise early in the second half.
Hassan Shehata’s men,winners of the previous two biennial Nations Cup tournaments, will be bitterly disappointed at failing to get their third-round campaign off to a flyer. Even with their impressive record, Egypt last featured at the World Cup 19 years ago in Italy.
With so much talent at his disposal Shehata afford to leave midfield stars like Mohamed Aboutraika ,Hosny Abd Rabou and Wigan striker Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam on the substitutes bench.
Aboutraika and ‘Mido’ were introduced after Zambia equalized but could not turn the game as the visitors held out for the precious away point.
When Egypt won the Nations Cup in Ghana last year Zambia were the only opponent they failed to defeat with their group clash also ending in a 1-1 stalemate.
This result is another boost to the growing reputation of Bernard Renard, 39, who guided Zambia to third place at the CHAN in Abidjan.
The results left the four contenders with one point each ahead of the next games in June when Algeria host Egypt and Zambia host Rwanda in Lusaka .
For Rwanda to qualify for the Africa Nations’ Cup, it will be required to win the remaining home fixtures against Zambia and Egypt and either record a draw in the away matches against Zambia, Egypt, and Algeria respectively.
Meanwhile, Amavubi players were left disappointed earning a point at home against Algeria and have vowed to fly to Zambia with a different mindset of earning maximum points to continue their hunt of securing Rwanda her qualification to the CAN or Fifa finals.
“Despite earning a point for our country, that’s not what we expected from the game. We have enough time to change what denied us maximum points and I believe we will make it,” Eric Gasana said.
“We played good football, created several chances but the race is still open following Egypt’s draw against Zambia. We must win in Zambia to keep our qualification hopes alive,” Jean Mugiraneza said.
“We are playing good football and we managed to learn many more things from the Algeria game. We will be heading to Zambia with compact confidence and determination,” Mutesa Mafisango said.
Rwanda’s next qualifier will played on June 6 against Zambia as Algeria face off Egypt in a Northern African battle of the supreme on June 7.
The top team in the group will qualify for the World Cup in South Africa next year while the three best finishers make it for the African finals in Luanda, Angola in January.