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Football

Ethiopia, Rwanda play to draw in CHAN qualifier

Rwanda v Ethiopia
Rwanda take on Ethiopia in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO/FERWAFA
  • The match was staged in Tanzania as Ethiopia have no approved home ground
  • The second leg will be played next week in Kigali
  • Tanzania faces Uganda on Sunday

Ethiopia and Rwanda played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Friday. Ethiopia were the host team and they elected to play the match in Tanzania as they did not have a CAF approved venue back at home.

The Walia Ibex dominated play for long spells, but failed to find the goals against a disciplined Rwanda side in a match played at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Ethiopia had the best chance in the 20th minute but Dawa Hotessa missed the target. The Amavubi goalkeeper Fiacre Ntwari later made another good save after 30 minutes from a well taken Chernet Gugsa shot.

The Rwanda team led by skipper Haruna Niyonzima tried to push forward, but failed to create as many scoring opportunities.

Rwanda will now look to make the most of the tie when they host the return leg in Kigali next week.

“We have seen what we need to do and we want to prepare well to ensure we get a good result at home. We need to win the match because a draw is not good enough,” said Alos Ferrer, the Amavubi coach.

In the return leg, a scoring draw will be the least Ethiopia needs to progress.

Tanzania coach calls for fan turnout

Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen

Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen talks with members of his staff. PHOTO/TFF

Elsewhere, Tanzanian national team head coach Kim Poulsen has rallied fans to come out in large numbers and support the Taifa Stars as they take on Uganda on Sunday.

The tactician says his team believes they can qualify, but says an extra push from the fans will be vital for them to achieve a good result at home.

“We are looking forward to very good home support and I want to ask the fans to come out in large numbers and give us support. The boys need that push because this is the final round of qualification and whenever players feel that atmosphere they give an extra push,” said the tactician.

Meanwhile, he expects a tough outing against the Uganda Cranes.

“It is always a tough against Uganda. They are a team that play quite direct, they are aggressive and it will not be an easy game. We are looking forward to a very competitive duel,” he said.

At the same time, skipper Aishi Manula says the players are ready to give their best for the country.

“Uganda is a team that knows us well and we know them well too so it will not be easy. We are looking forward to a very competitive match but we are hopeful we can triumph at home. We qualified for the last CHAN so we want to show it was no fluke,” he noted.

Uganda arrive in Dar from Zanzibar

Uganda arrived in Dar es Salaam on Friday night from Zanzibar where they had set up camp. The Cranes are looking to qualify for yet another edition of the tournament for the home based players and make amends after failing to qualify for January’s Cup of Nations.

Uganda though come in to Dar on the backdrop of worrying results in friendly matches, having lost by 1-0 margins to both Ethiopia and Zanzibar.

But, head coach Milutin Sredojevic is confident there is no cause for alarm and they will be a good side heading into Sunday’s tie.

“Friendly matches give us an indication where we are as a team and we have definitely trained to improve where we went wrong. We are looking forward to a tough match against Tanzania and we hope to start the first leg well to make the work easier in the second leg,” the coach said.

The Cranes had put up a training camp in Zanzibar over the past five days to acclimatize and the coach says the period has helped them settle well and be ready for the match.

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