Congo beat Rwanda, qualify for CHAN semis

Kigali (Rwanda), Jan 31 (IANS) The Democratic Republic of Congo football team qualified for the semifinals after beating hosts Rwanda at the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) here.

Coach Florent Ibenge’s team beat Rwanda 2-1 in the first quarter-final clash at the Amahoro Stadium on Saturday in front of 30,000 fans, reports Xinhua.

The first goal resulted from a defensive lapse after Rwanda defender Abdul Rwatubyaye fumbled, giving the ball to Doxa Gikanji.

The striker made no mistake, releasing a strong shot from outside the box that beat Rwanda goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimiye.

The visitors dominated most of the first half, giving Rwanda no chance. Rwanda’s only clear chance came after 39 minutes when Innocent Habyarimana’s shot was punched out for a corner by Congo goalkeeper Ley Matampi.

In the second half, Rwanda returned motivated with Ernest Sugira causing the Congo defenders all sorts of pressure. Sugira levelled the scores after 58 minutes with a hard shot from a Jean Claude Iranzi cross.

The home side continued to put pressure but still failed to find the net. After playing 90 minutes, the two teams had to battle for another 30 extra minutes with Congo scoring the winning goal (114th minute) with a header from defender Padou Bompunga.

“We are disappointed that after fighting back from a goal down we lost as the game was getting to the end,” said Rwanda coach Johnathan McKinstry.

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