Rwanda Beat Gambia, Stay in Contention for Knockout Stage

5 September 2023

Rwanda Beat Gambia 3-1 in the second match of Group D at men's African Volleyball Championship which is underway in Cairo, Egypt, to keep their chances of progressing to the knockout stages alive.

Rwanda started the game strongly, winning the two opening sets 25 - 11 and 25 - 11 before Gambia pulled one back 20 - 25 as they attempted to make a comeback and force the match into the tiebreaker set.

Both countries were locked on 21-21 in the fourth as Gambia refused to give up easily but Paulo De Tarso's men held on to win it 26-24 and hence registered their first win in the competition in a game that took an hour and 30 minutes.

After the game, the national team captain Wycliff Dusenge dedicated teamwork as a crucial factor that won them the game.

"I am happy my teammates gave their best to win the game. We played as a team and tried to minimize our mistakes and to play well," Dusenge said.

Rwanda came back to winning ways a day after losing three straight sets at the hands of Morocco (25-17, 25-18, and 26-24) but Dusenge is optimistic Tuesday's victory boosted their confidence ahead of their third and decisive Group D clash with Senegal on Wednesday, September 6, as they look to reach the knock out stages.

"We are facing Senegal which is a good side and we will try to win the game. We will do our best to win the game. It will be tough but we are ready for the game," he said.

A win against Senegal would see Rwanda finish the group stages in the second place behind Morocco who have already won their opening games. Two teams will qualify for the next round of the knockout stages.

During the 2021 edition which was held in Kigali, Rwanda was eliminated in the quarterfinals and finished in sixth place after losing to neighbors Uganda.

The East African nation is targeting a place in the second round (semifinals), something that the country has previously achieved in the U19s, U21s, and All-Africa Games.

Elsewhere, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon won their second game against Ghana (3-0) (25-19; 25-17; 25-19) to lead Group C.

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