Tanzania will need to cough out a must-win performance to progress to the final round of the Central-East zone qualifiers of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) after Rwanda held them to a 1-1 draw in their first leg clash on Saturday, in the port city of Mwanza.
Visiting Amavubi of Rwanda needed only 17 minutes to hit the back of the net, courtesy Dominique Savio Nshuti, who capitalized on a blunder by the Taifa Stars rear to slot home from close range.
Five minutes later, misery piled on the hosts after defender Shomary Kapombe was pulled out for Boniface Maganga, after sustaining an injury that hampered his continuous stay in the game.
On 34 minutes, the homers drew level through captain Himid Mao Mkami from the spot after Rwanda defender Aimable Rucogoza was adjudged to have handled the ball in the vital area.
The second half saw a resurgent Taifa Stars but attackers Saimon Msuva, Shiza Kichuya and John Bocco spurned goal scoring chances that came their way.
Amavubi goalkeeper, Eric Ndayishimiye pulled off a superb save to deny Kichuya seven minutes from time, as the visitors shared the spoils with their host.
The second leg will take place on Saturday, 22 July 2017 in Kigali with the winner facing either Uganda or South Sudan at the final round for one of the two Central-East zone slots.
Salum Mayanga (Head Coach, Tanzania)
It was tough game for us because we conceded an early goal. Our concentration changed and we had to look for the equalizer first. We are now in a disadvantageous position but we will work hard to win it away from home. I am going to work on the technical and tactical challenges before the return leg.
Vincent Mashami (Assistant Coach, Rwanda)
We are happy with the result, we thought we are going to win but even a draw is not bad for us. Tanzania showed good quality and played offensive, which gives a picture that the return leg will be tough. We will capitalize on our home advantage to play well to win. We believe that we can progress to the next round.