Rwanda 1-1 Ethiopia (Aggr. 2-1)
Amavubi made a swift return to the finals of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) tournament – again at the expense of Ethiopia – despite both teams playing out a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their qualifier on Saturday.
Striker Ernest Sugira produced a late moment of magic to rescue a draw for Amavubi, which was all the home side needed to qualify for the fourth time – and third in a row – after winning the first-leg 1-0 in Ethiopia last month.
In the 83rd minute, in-form Sugira got everyone at the fully-packed Kigali Stadium off their feet after his masterclass finish brought Rwanda back in command of the tie. The 28-year old also scored the lone goal of the first leg with an acrobatic overhead kick.
In Saturday’s tightly contested draw, Lemene Tafesse broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute and the visitors could have scored at least twice more in-between, until AS Kigali midfielder Eric ‘Zidane’ Nsabimana set Sugira up for the late equalizer with a curling pass from the right flank.
Vincent Mashami’s side almost grabbed the lead at the hour-mark but Sugira had his goal disallowed allegedly for fouling an opponent in the buildup.
With the victory, over the two legs, Rwanda has now made it to the continental tournament’s three consecutive editions, and twice at the expense of Ethiopia’s Walias having also brushed them aside en route to the 5th CHAN edition in Morocco last year.