Chan first leg qualifier result
Ethiopia 2-3 Rwanda
By J Muhinde
Rwanda National Football team Amavubi is one step away to qualify for the 2018 CHAN Games in Morocco next year after defeating Ethiopia 3-2 in the first leg of the CHAN 2018 qualifiers played away in Addis Ababa on November 5, 2017.
The visitor Bagan on a wrong footing, conceding a goal in the early 18 minutes of the game when Ethiopia’s Aschalew Girma scored from a set piece by Mesude Mohammed.
Minutes into the half hour, Rwanda opted for long balls as Ethiopia started controlling play, as well as penetrating the visitors back line with their traditional splitting passes.However, Amavubi held firm to deny them passageway.
Rwanda comeback in the game five minutes into the second half and following a foul committee on Police FC Abbedy Biramahire, Rayon Sports left-back Eric Rutanga curled in a beautiful free kick to equalize for the visitors, however Amavbi goalie Eric Bakama Ndayishimiyecould not hold his gloves up as Ethiopia Asechalew Girma took advantage of the miss communication between the visitors defence by scoring to make it two up.
Coach Antonie Hey and his men who have big glovers to fill by qualifying for CHAN after reaching the quarters for the first time in a tournament they hosted at home, did not relax but pressed harder in the last 15 minutes which paid off.
APR’s midfielder Muhadjiri Hakizimana who came for Djabel Manishimwe equalized with a second in the 78th minute before Biramahire who was making his first debut in the national side sealed the victory with a third in the 10th minutes before the match referee blew the finals whistle to end the game.
Ethiopia tried hard to snatch an equalizing goal in the remaining ten minutes but they could not go through the Amavubi defense which solidly stuck to their guns to seal a crucial away result which puts them in pole position to reach CHAN finals next year.
Amavubi will return back to the country on Monday, 15:05 aboard Ethiopian Airways to begin preparations for the return leg.
The two teams meet in the second leg on Sunday at Stade de Kigali with the winner qualifying for next year’s Chan Championship in Morocco.
Technically, Rwanda is one foot away to Morocco for the CHAN 2018 games slated to start next early year but they will have to prove that in the return leg to be played this on Sunday at Stade de Kigali on Sunday, November 12th.
Amavubi lost the qualification bid to Uganda and Sudan; luckily the Confederation of African Football (CAF) gave both Rwanda and Ethiopia, a second chance each to qualify for the tournament reserved for domestic players following Egypt’s withdrawal.
Eric Ndayishimiye, Thierry Manzi, Sother Kayumba, Faustin Usengimana, Eric Iradukunda, Eric Rutanga, Djihad Bizimana, Yannick Mukunzi, Djabel Manishimwe, (Hakizimana Muhadjiri), Innocent Nshuti (Niyonzima Ally) Abeddy and Biramahire (Mico Justin).
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