Rwanda, Burundi play 1-all draw
Fifa Friendly matches
Burundi 1-1 Rwanda
BUJUMBURA-RWANDA national football team, Amavubi displayed a fine performance as they forced a 1-all draw against Burundi in a Fifa international friendly match played at a packed Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium yesterday in Bujumbura.
APR’s Michel Ndahinduka put Amavubi ahead on 18th minute before Croatia-based Saido Ntibazonkiza equalised on 30th minute with a fantastic goal.
With Burundi dominating the first half with their classic tik-tak style of play spearheaded by Papy Faty, Cedric Amissi and Pierre Kwizera, Amavubi opted to go defensive and relied on counter-attacks.
Ndahinduka broke the deadlock when he tapped in a bouncing ball from a poor goalkeeping blunder committed by goalie Arthur Arakaza who could not save a free kick from Emery Bayisenga, putting Rwanda ahead.
Twelve minutes later, Carcovia striker Ntibazonkiza pulled out one of the most brilliant goals as he struck a sharp shot 30-yard stick directing it past Jean Luc Ndayishimiye into the net to send Burundians in jubilations.
Impressive Kwizera tested Ndayishimiye again with another longer shot but the Rayon sports custodian was steady at this time as he firmly held the ball.
With five minutes to the end of the first half, Ntibazonkiza suffered a bruised eye following a tackle with Emery Bayisenge. He was replaced by Enugu Rangers striker Steve Nzigamasabo.
Both teams regrouped to proceed with the affair after recess with now Amavubi taking charge of the game. Amavubi came back recharged and cutting out Burundi’s midfield connection of Papy, Yussuf Ndikumana, Claude Kwizera, Cedric Amissi and Kiza Fataki.
Bayisenge had his superb free kick punched away from the edge box in the 46th minute Flambeau de l’est goalie Arakaza before the latter made three other saves from dangerous crucial corner kicks taken by Papy Sibomana.
Mid in the second half, Pierre Kwizera who plays for Amadou Diallo of Cote d’Ivoire got two free kicks, curving in a dangerous ball only to be saved by Salomon Nirisarike while another one was kept off bay by skipper Jean Baptista Mugiraneza.
With 20 minutes to the end of the game, Coach Eric Nshimiyimana introduced Meddie Kagere for Sibomana, Hussein Cyiza Mugabo for Djamal Mwiseneza and Andrew Buteera for Michel Ndahinduka while Fitina Ombarenga replaced injured Michel Rusheshangonga.
Fabrice Twagizimana also replaced Jean Baptista Mugiraneza who opted out with a bruised knee injury.
Two minutes to the end of the game, Kagere missed a clear opportunity to earn Amavubi the winner as he could not tap in a free ball in front of goalie Arakaza.
Elias Uzamukunda who was outstanding up front, beat Burundian skipper Valery Nahayo to set up a neat ball for Kagere but the Rayon Sport striker failed to tap the ball inside the net.
In post-match remarks, Nshimiyimana hailed his team for maintaining the tactical approach they had mounted against Burundi.
“We knew that in order to play better, we needed to cut off all their midfield links and that is we struggled to hold them in the first half because players were trying to put in play our tactics,”
“We had full control of the game in the second half and with this kind of mentality, the future is bright. We have to keep on working hard, playing many friendly matches so as to be able to rectify some of the mistakes that still occur in our team.”
“In general, my players played better and there are notable improvements which are vital in as far as players gain confidence is concerned,” added Nshimiyimana.
The win will help Rwanda improve from their 134th Fifa ranking this month as well as help players gain confidence ahead of the 2015 Afcon Morocco finals whose qualifiers begin in April.
Burundi: Arthur Arakaza, Valery Nahayo, Stephane Rugonumugabo, Rashid Harelimana, Kiza Fataki, Pierre Kwizera, Papy Faty, Razak Abdoul Fiston [Gael Duhayindavyi], Saido Ntibazonkiza [Steve Ndikumasabo], Tambwe Amissi [Claude Ndarusange] and Cedrick Amissi .
Rwanda: Jean Luc Ndayishimiye, Emery Bayisenge, Salomon Nirisarike, Michel Rusheshangonga [Fitina Omberenga], Abouba Sibomana, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza [Fabrice Twagizimana], Leon Uwambazimana, Djamal Mwiseneza [Hussein Cyiza Mugabo], Michel Ndahinduka [Andrew Buteera], Patrick Sibomana [Meddie Kagere] and Elias Uzamukunda.