FULL BACK Hamdan Bariyanga turned into goalkeeper as he used his hand to keep out a net bound ball to save a Amavubi Stars from defeat against Namibia in a friendly match played yesterday at Amahoro National stadium.
Bariyanga, who came off the bench to replace Steven Godfroid in the second half, handled Botes Henrico's shot on the line in the last seconds of the game following a goal blunder from Rwanda's custodian Jean Claude Ndoli.
However, centre referee Denis Batte from Uganda didn not award a penalty or a card as it is the norm, thus sending Brave Warriors technical bench led by head coach Bernard Kaanjuka into dismay as they protested the decision.
The situation was calmed down with Kaanjuka being sent into the stands.
The handball was the pivotal moment in a thrilling 2-2 draw in which both teams played an offensive game.
The second half substitutions by Milutin Sredojovic Micho, to bring on Haruna Niyonzima, Jimmy Mbaraga and Jerome Sina for Charles Mwesigye, Aphrodis Hategikimana and Jean Claude Iranzi paid dividends as pitched camp in the Warriors' half.
Primus National League top scorer Jimmy Mbaraga scored Amavubi's opening goal on fifty seventh minute after a good exchange with Elias Uzamukunda to strike past goalie Christo Vries Virgil.
Ten minutes later, Uzamukunda met Mwemere Girinshuti's cross to stretch over two defenders and score the second goal with a fine header.
Despite trailing two goals, Namibia pressed hard and secured a goal through Botes who benefited from a defensive mix-up between Emery Bayisenge and Solomon Nirisarike on 71st minute.
Amavubi failed to capitalise from a Mwemere's free kick at the edge of the box when Barnabe Mubumbyi's header was saved by Virgil, helping Namibia to counter attack and equalise through Horaeb Larry, thanks to another defensive error.
Lack of concentration battered Amavubi in the last minutes as Lazarus Kaimbi lead an assault from the midfield, then connected to Botes, who dribbled past Ndoli and Bayisenge to shoot into an empty net but Bariyanga raced to punch the ball on to the woodwork for Ndoli to grapple with the rebound.
The friendly match was Amavubi's build-up ahead of the Cecafa Challenge tournament due in Kampala next week, from November 24 through December 8..
Elsewhere, Tanzania beat Kenya 1-0 in Mwanza at the CCM Kirumba stadium. The lone goal of the match was scored in the 7th minute by defender Aggrey Morris.
Egypt forced Georgia to a goalless draw while Burkina Faso snatched a 1-0 victory over DR Congo.
Rwanda: Jean Claude Ndoli, Jean d'Amour Uwimana, Girinshuti Mwemere, Tumaine Ntamuhanga, Jean Claude Iranzi, Steven Godfroid, Solomon Nirisarike, Aphrodis Hategikimana, Emery Bayisenge, Charles Tibingana and Elias Uzamukunda
Namibia: Vries Virgil Christo, Ronald Himeekua, Larry Horaeb, Willem Mwedihanga, Dacosta Angula, Jamunovandu Ngatjizeko, Martin Emilio, Bester Rudolf, Lazarus Kaimbi, Heinrich Isaacks and Henrico Botes
Fifa Friendly Matches
Rwanda 2-2 Namibia
Tanzania 1-0 Kenya
Georgia 0-0 Egypt
DR Congo 0-1 Burkina Faso