Dar es Salaam. The national soccer team Taifa Stars’ chances to qualify for the Champions of African Nations (Chan) second round now hangs in the balance after registering a 1-1 draw against Rwanda’s Amavubi at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza City yesterday.
The results mean that Taifa Stars must now score or win in the next encounter against Rwanda in the return leg match on July 22 at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.
The barrel draw for Taifa Stars will give Amavubi the chance to qualify for the final round qualifying match against the winner between Uganda’s The Cranes and South Sudan’s Bright Stars. Uganda and South Sudan recorded a barrel draw on Friday in Juba.
Rwanda dominated the game in the first period but a lapse in concentration saw them lose possession in midfield and a swift counterattack.
Rwanda scored their goal through Dominique Nshuti after beating Taifa Stars defence in the 18th after beating Taifa Stars defence and beating side’s goalkeeper Aishi Manula easily.
The goal seemed to wake up Taifa Stars who managed to equalise through a penalty kick in the 34rd following Rucogoza Aimambe’s handball when attempting to stop Simon Msuva’s shot.
Sudan’s referee Alier Michael ruled a penalty and team captain Himid Mao scored for the team in the 34th. Taifa Stars defence seemed to mix up in the first half and made Rwandans to penetrate easily and give hard time the team goalkeeper Manula.
The side’s defence faced a big blow in the 16th following Shomary Kapombe injury and his chance was taken by Boniface Maganga.
Rwanda’s goalie, Ndayishimiye Eric made a tremendous save in the 45th after punching away Boniface Maganga’s shot just outside the danger zone.
Taifa Stars skipper, Himid Mao said they regretted with the results because they have put them under-intense pressure in the return leg.
“We need to score in Rwanda. We are not happy with the results, but this is football and anything can happen even if we play away, we need to make efforts in the return leg match,” said Mao.
Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey said they were not happy with the results and believe to come back strong in the return leg.
“We’re unlucky and allow them to equalise in the 34th through a penalty. We were punished for lack of concentration, it was a game of two halves. In the second half, they changed the system and put us under intense pressure and forced us to change our formation to accommodate theirs,” said Hey.
However, Hey said they were happy with the results and will rectify all mistakes in the second leg encounter in Kigali next Sunday.