Saturday - Second Leg
Rwanda 2-0 Congo (Pen 4-3)
Rwanda has advanced to the group stages of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after beating Congo 4-3 on penalty shootouts following a 2-0 win in normal time on Saturday at Kigali Regional Stadium. Congo had won the first leg 2-0 two weeks ago.
The hero of the day was goalkeeper Jean Luc ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye, who saved three penalties.
The first half was a dull contest as the Congolese were more than happy to defend their two-goal cushion and Amavubi Stars looked short of ideas.
But whatever Coach Stephen Constantine told them in the dressing at the half time break, Amavubi came back strongly in second half and put pressure to visitors, which resulted in two goals in the space of just seven minute.
Michel ‘Bugesera’ Ndahinduka netted the first in the 52 minute, slotting home a low cross from strike partner Meddie Kagere and seven minutes later Kagere took advantage of a sloppy defending by the Congolese to make it 2-0 and it was game on.
Constantine’s team continued to press for a third goal but it wasn’t to come and with penalty shootouts imminent, the Briton made two tactical changes, bringing on Jimmy Mbaraga and James Tubane for Jerome Sina and Ndahinduka—it paid off well as both went on to score in the shootouts.
During the shootouts, Congo went first and Ndayishimiye denied Ferebory Dore Mael Francis Lepicier and Herman Lakolop, while Delvin Chansel Ndinga, Silver Mbousi Ganvoula and Thierry Koulossa Bifouma successfully slotted theirs.
As for Rwanda, Mbaraga, Tubane, Emery Bayisenge and Patrick Sibomana scored but skipper Haruna Niyonzima saw his kick went wide of the goal post, while Kagere had his saved by Congo keeper Chasel Mohikola Massa.
This is the second consecutive win for Constantine, who debuted as Rwanda coach with a 3-0 victory over Libya 3-0 in the last qualifying round in May at the same ground.
Rwanda joins title-holders Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan in Group A for the September-November mini-league phase.