The Amavubi of Rwanda have stormed the quarter-final stage at the on-going Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2020 after a hard-fought 3-2 win against Togo on Tuesday night.
Coach Vincent Mashami’s team fought their hearts out to win the Group C match played at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium and finish second in the Group with 5 points behind Morocco with 7 points.
The match started at a low tempo before Rwanda’s skipper Jacques Tuyisenge put to waste a good scoring opportunity after 19 minutes when he blasted out from close range.
Togo also had Kokouvi Amekoudi miss the target. After 38 minutes of play skipper Yendoutie Nane gave Togo the lead after finishing off a well taken Ismail Ouro-Agoro cross.
But Rwanda quickly regrouped and attacked in numbers before Olivier Niyonzima nodded in Emery Bayisenge’s well taken free kick at the stroke of half time to make it 1-1.
In the second half poor defending cost Rwanda again when Bilal Akoro was given space to slide in past goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera to make it 2-1 for Togo.
But the 2016 quarter finalists Rwanda fought back before skipper Tuyisenge nodded in past the Togo goalkeeper Abdoul Moubarak Aigba after 60 minutes.
Later Ernest Sugira who replaced Dominique Savio Nshuti in the second half made it 3-2 for Rwanda after 66 minutes when he dribbled past two defenders and slotted the ball in the net.
It was pressure in the remaining quarter of the game as the two teams continued creating several scoring opportunities. Kparo Jarry Ahoro had his shot from close range blocked, while Rwanda’s Martin Fabrice Twizerimana also had his effort stopped.
Rwanda will now wait to play Group D’s top team in the last quarter final match on January 31st at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium.
What they said
Yaovi Jean Paul Abalo (Assistant coach, Togo)
It was a good match and we were just unfortunate to suffer defeat. My defenders did not play so well because they left a lot of gaps for the opponents and we got punished.
Vincent Mashami (Coach, Rwanda)
I am extremely happy with my players because they worked hard to get this win. We had no other option apart from winning the match and we did exactly that. I would like to thank all Rwandese across the world for the support.