•After Amavubi are held 0-0 by Zambia
2010 World/Africa Nations Cup
Rwanda 0-0 Zambia
RWANDA’S Amavubi Stars will not be at next year’s Africa Nations Cup finals after being held to a goalless draw against Zambia’s Copper Bullets in the decisive qualifier played yesterday at Amahoro stadium.
Amavubi, who were under pressure to win by a 2-0 goal margin, failed to accomplish the dream against the Zambians.
The home team started the game with confidence and forced pressure on the visitors in the opening fifteen minutes.
Jean Mugiraneza missed three excellent opportunities to find the net as most of his headers failed to find the target of custodian Kennedy Mweene, who was outstanding for the Copper Bullets.
Abbas Rassou, making his debut for the national team was denied a goal by Mweene who made a fine save to keep his team in the race for next year’s Nations’ Cup finals.
Labama Bokota’s only chance came before the end of the first half as he beat both Chintu Kampamba and Joseph Musonda but unleashed a lowly ball which Mweene easily saved.
In the second half, Amavubi team kept pressure on Zambia but couldn’t find the breakthrough. Even the substitutions of Jimmy Gatete, Olivier Karekezi and Said Abedi Makasi didn’t do much to change the game.
The visitors missed some two good chances, skipper Christopher Katongo’s had a goal disallowed for being offside in the first half. Chivta Noah Sikombe, Rainford Kalaba and Jacob Mulenga had chances.
Felix Katongo and Given Singuluma were both outstanding in Zambia’s midfield as their tireless running and clever passing skills enabled them to boss the department.
Rwanda needed a 2-0 win to ensure their second appearance at next year’s Africa Nations’ Cup whereas Zambia needed a draw to see them through.
Rwanda’s last appearance was last accomplished back in 2004 when they beat Ghana and Uganda to the single slot that was at stake.
Yesterday’s game was Branko Tucak’s last as Amavubi head coach. The 57-year-old was playing under pressure after being reminded by Sports and Culture minister Joseph Habineza that failure to qualify Rwanda would mark the end of his tenure as Wasps boss.
Zambia finished on five points while Rwanda is bottom with two points out of the possible 18.
Zambia joins Algeria and Egypt to next year’s Nations’ Cup finals.