Rwanda hold Mozambique in Afcon qualifying opener

Guambe Saddan Rafael of Mozambique challenged by Manzi Thierry of Rwanda during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match between Mozambique and Rwanda at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 02 June 2022

Mozambique began their 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifications with a draw after being held by a resolute Rwanda side at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Mambas would have to comeback from a goal down to draw 1-1 with the visiting team on Thursday.

Despite the overwhelming dominance by the Mozambicans, they couldn't record a win on Chiquiho Conde's first competitive match on his return as head coach.

Spanish trainer Carlos Alos Ferrer will be glad for the point in his first competitive match in charge as the head coach of the Amavubi.

Geny Catamo of Mozambique challenged by Bizimana Djihad and Rafael York of Rwanda during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match between Mozambique and Rwanda at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 02 Jun

Atletico Madrid defender Reinildo Mandava, Manuel Kambala and Mexer all starred for Mozambique in the Group L encounter.

Mozambique started the game as the better side after imposing a lot of pressure on the Amavubi yet they failed to find the back of the net before the break.

Goalkeepers of the two sides Ernan Alberto Siluane and Olivier both produced important saves to make sure they didn't allow a goal in the first.

The Mambas continued their dominance in the early stages for the second half but it Rwanda who got the breakthrough in the 65th minute through Blaise Nishimwe goal with their first attempt of the half.

Nishimwe Blaise of Rwanda celebrates goal with teammates during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match between Mozambique and Rwanda at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 02 June 2022

Mozambique responded quickly two minutes later forward Stanley Ratifo pulled parity having been set up by Gildo Lourenco Vilanculos.

The Mambas kept pushing for the match winner but the Rwanda shot stopper was the difference.

Senegal will take on Benin at the new Stade Abdoulaye Wade in Diamniadio in the other Group fixture on Saturday.

Stanley Ratifo of Mozambique celebrates goal during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match between Mozambique and Rwanda at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on the 02 June 2022