Rwanda bow out of Afcon U23 qualifiers

Jimmy Mulisa was put in charge as head coach of the Amavubi U23 team just two weeks prior to facing DR Congo. (Courtesy)

First round


DR Congo 5-0 Rwanda (Agg.5-0)

The national U-23 men’s football team crashed out of qualifiers for the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations (AFCON U23) finals tournament at the hands of neighbors DR Congo.

Jimmy Mulisa’s youngsters were hammered 5-0 in the return-leg on Tuesday night at Stade de Martyrs in Kinshasa following the two sides’ goalless draw in the first-leg at Umuganda Stadium last week.

The hosts grabbed an early lead through Nzau Mbuangi, just after six minutes, before Jackson Muleka – who squandered several goal opportunities in the first-leg – made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute. The first-half ended with the visitors trailing 2-0.

While Rwanda showed strong intention to fight back early in the second-half – but all in vain, things moved from bad to worse when Peter Mutumosi scored for the home side in the 61st minute, which was followed by Muleka’s second goal and fourth for his team in the 67th minute.

Forward Nelson Felix Balongo ensured his name was also on the score-sheet with a goal of his own in the 82nd to complete the routing.

DR Congo will face Morocco in the second round in March next year.

The third edition of the quadrennial AFCON U-23 finals competition is due on August 8-22 in Egypt.

The tournament will determine three teams that will represent the continent at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan