25 May 2015 02:30
This weekend’s first leg matches of the second round of the African U-23 Championship Senegal 2015 were headlined by shocking and surprising results.
Three teams namely Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Rwanda were involved in the shocking outcomes during the weekend highlighted by narrow wins.
Cameroon failed to make their home advantage count after Sierra Leone held them to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
The Leone Stars hosted the game in Yaounde due to the home ban due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in their territory, but held their own against the highly rated ‘Les Lionceaux’ side, favoured to win.
One of two African sides to have won gold in the history of the quadrennial multisport event besides Nigeria, the Cameroonians, winners in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, dominated the game but couldn’t translate that into goals
It was a similar situation at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare, where visiting Swaziland held Zimbabwe to a barren draw.
Another surprising result was recorded in Kigali, where Uganda shocked Rwanda 2-1. The Kobs, under the technical direction of Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, who was in charge of the Rwanda two years ago, took the lead in the ninth minute when Farouk Miya curled a beautiful free kick punishing Olivier Kwizera who had stepped out of the goal area with the ball in his hands.
Midfielder Dominique Savio Nshuti restored parity for the Amavubis with a well-taken strike on the hour mark. As the hosts mounted a challenge in search for the winner, substitute Muzamiru Mutyaba notched the winner to give Uganda a 2-1 advantage going into the second leg next week.
In a post-match interview, Rwanda coach Johnny Coach McKinstry said: “we showed the potential especially in the opening 25 minutes of the second half. We are optimistic and we believe much more can happen in the 90 minutes of the second half. We have the ability to overturn the result”.
On his part, Micho said: “we got the needed result. My players were fatigued but we managed to pull off the result. The second half started brightly for Rwanda but we managed to rise up thanks to the two changes we made. The battle is not yet over, we still have work harder and ensure that we finish off the task on a positive note”.
In Accra, Ghana’s Black Meteors needed a first half goal by England-based midfielder Enoch Ebo Andoh to ease past Congo. Andoh, who plays for English lower division side, Port Vale, scored the only goal of the match on 44 minute, giving the 1992 Olympic bronze medalists a narrow win ahead of the return leg. The result served a bitter pill for Congolese coach, Claude Le Roy, a former coach of Ghana between 2006 and 2008, on his first return to the West African country since parting ways with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) seven years ago.
Elsewhere in Rades, Tunisia accounted for visiting Sudan with a lone goal win, thanks to Slimene Kchok’s 89th minute winner.
Les Aigles of Mali fought back to snatch a late equalizer against Mauritania away in Nouakchott. Niane Adama converted a penalty in stoppage time to cancel out Mama Nias’ 62nd minute opener.
In Lobatse, hosts Botswana needed a late equalizer against Zambia and stay in contention. Shadreck Malambo gave the Chipolopolo a 13th minute lead before Unobatsha Mbaiwa netted the equalizer on 73 minutes.
The second leg matches has been fixed for the weekend of 29-31 May 2015 with the winners progress to the third round.
The top three teams at the final tournament scheduled for 28 November to 12 December in Senegal, will qualify for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Friday, 22 May 2015
Botswana 1-1 Zambia
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Ghana 1-0 Congo
Mauritania 1-1 Mali
Rwanda 1-2 Uganda
Tunisia 1-0 Sudan
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Sierra Leone 0-0 Cameroon*
Zimbabwe 0-0 Swaziland
*Match was played at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Omnisports Stadium in Yaoundé