The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda/Uganda: Cranes Hold Amavubi

Rwanda's Amavubi Stars twice came from behind to settle for a 2-all draw against Uganda Cranes in an international friendly played yesterday at Amahoro National Stadium.

The two sides were meeting for the first time since Uganda beat Rwanda 3-2 on penalty shootout, in the 2011 Cecafa senior Challenge Cup finals in Dar es Salaam.

Midfielder Said Kyeyune put Uganda ahead in the twenty-first minute from a Dan Sserunkuma set-piece.

At the stroke of halftime, Meddie Kagere equalised after beating off a challenge by defender Savio Kabugo to leave Abel Dhaira with no chance.

Kenyan-based Dan Sserunkuma put Uganda in the lead once again from the spot on 66 minute when substitute Tony Odur who came in for Brian Omwony, got tackled in the area by Fredrick Ndaka.

And then, the introduction of Papy Sibomana for Jean Claude Iranzi, Aphrodis Hategekimana for Tumaine Ntamuhanga, Jimmy Mbaraga for Peter Kagabo, and Jessy Reinford for Haruna Niyonzima paid off greatly.

Sibomana planted the ball in the bottom left corner, snatching the equaliser for Rwanda with eight minutes to the end of the game stretching substitute goalie Hamza Muwonge, thanks to an assist from Belgium-based Reinford who was making his debut for Amavubi.

With a draw result, Rwanda may rise in the FIFA rankings up from the current 137th position. It was Rwanda's second FIFA international friendly draw since last November following another 2-all draw at home to Namibia before a defeat to Angola in December.

Rwanda's next World Cup qualifier is in Kigali against Mali, next month, before a return leg in June, while home-based players will take on Ethiopia in the 2014 Chan qualifiers the same month.

Elsewhere, A brace from captain Dennis Oliech and a late second half strike from Paul Were led Kenya's Harambee Stars to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Libya in another match played on Tuesday.

In Dar es salaam, Tanzania frustrated Cameroon to a 1-0 victory.

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