Kagere magic lifts Rwanda
Meddie Kagere’s stunning strike two minutes from time Rwanda a hard fought 2-1 win over Zanzibar in a quarterfinal clash at this year’s Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup in Dar es Salaam.
The striker smashed home a wonderful volley to finally see off the plucky islanders whose grit and determination produced arguably the best match of the tournament at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Having won all their group games, Amavubi Stars went into the match as favourites and they did all the early running with Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza forcing Zanzibar keeper Ali Mwadime to a fine save on 17 minutes.
The midfielder made it 1-0 on 39 minutes heading home a Haruna Niyonzima corner past Mwadime.
The wasps were on top and Mugiraneza should have made it 2-0 two minutes before the break heading a left wing cross wide from six yards.
Zanzibar had the best possible start to the second half equalizing within a minute of the restart.
Substitute Abulrahaman Mohammed came on for Kassim Suleiman and with his very first touch, outfoxed a defender before scoring to level scores.
What followed was an absorbing second half with end to end action as both sides valiantly sought a winner.
Kagere had a great chance to notch the winner ten minutes from time after Olivier Karekezi had helped fashion a chance but Mwadime got down sharply to save.
Zanzibar’s best chance fell to Ali Bhadru Ali but his right footed shot sailed over six minutes from time.
Then came Kagere’s piece of magic as he smashed in a ferocious volley from just outside the box after Karekezi had created the chance with a knockdown on the 18 yard line.
Rwanda will now face Sudan in the semifinals.
“I say when it’s good don’t fly and when its bad, don’t give up and I told my boys to keep fighting and in the end that cracker was a result of our hard work. We need to go back to the drawing board and work on our game because we did not play well today,” said Rwanda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.