Cape Verde/Rwanda: Five Things We Learned From Rwanda-Cape Verde Draw

19 November 2020

Rwanda's hopes of qualifying for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations took a huge blow following a goalless draw against Cape Verde in Kigali on Tuesday, November 17 at Kigali stadium in Nyamirambo.

The result means that Amavubi remain bottom of Group F with two points, two points behind both Cape Verde and Mozambique and eight behind table-leaders Cameroon.

Times Sport's Eddie Nsabimana looks at five things we learned from Tuesday's encounter.

Goal shy Amavubi

Amavubi's failure to find the back of the net is the worst record among the teams taking part in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.

The Tuyisenge-Kagere attacking partnership has been a disappointment during the 2021 AFCON Qualifiers while fan favorite Ernest Sugira has lost his place in the starting lineup.

It is time Mashami started exploring new attacking options in the likes of Yannick Bizimana, Lague Byiringiro and Danny Usengimana to sharpen his attacking department.

Kwizera, the hero again

Without goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera, Amavubi's result would probably have been different both in Praia and Kigali.

After a man-of-the-match performance in Praia last week, the 25-year-old shot-stopper showed again that he is in his best form between the sticks on Tuesday, making a super save from Cape Verde striker Lisandro Semedo's shot in the second half as he managed to keep his side in the game despite being reduced to ten men following midfielder Ally Niyonzima's early send-off.

The former APR and Gasogi United goalkeeper rewarded the trust that Mashami has in after crucial howlers that cost Amavubi's chances of qualifying for 2019 AFCON.

Rayon Sports officials are confident that the 25 year-old will win the blues many matches next season.

Cape Verde deserved more than a draw

Cape Verde Head coach Bubista told journalists after the match that his team was the better side in Kigali and deserved all three points, something most observers agreed with.

His side dominated the game from minute one and played a high pressing game which saw Niyonzima get two yellow cards in 28 minutes, something that reduced the hosts to 10 players and made it hard for them to match the pace of the visiting team.

The visitors, however, failed to take advantage of the Azam FC midfielder's sendoff despite creating dangerous attacks in front of Kwizera's goal, including Semedo's finish.

Unfit strikers

A fit-again Ernest Sugira was expected to earn a place in Mashami's starting lineup but coach Vincent Mashami preferred the experienced duo of Jacques Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere, despite both of them carrying niggling injuries.

Kagere, who plays for Simba in Tanzania's premier league got injured during a league tie recently.

He played through the injury but failed to make an impact in both encounters against Cape Verde. He only played the first half in Kigali while Tuyisenge was replaced after just 11 minutes of the second half after picking up a knock.

Mashami has plenty to prove

The Amavubi head coach has a lot to prove to earn the vote of confidence from Rwandans and his employers, FERWAFA and Ministry of Sports, if he is to remain in the hot seat.

If Amavubi had won on Tuesday's, it would have boosted his hopes of becoming the first Rwandan coach to qualify a national team in the Africa Cup of Nations but several people have started questioning his ability and tactics following Amavubi's poor run of form in the continent's biggest competition.

Mashami was appointed national team coach in 2018.


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