The National U20 Junior Wasps have a mountain to climb in the return leg of the Africa U20 qualifies after losing 2-0 to Zambia yesterday at Kigali stadium.
The return-leg tie between the two youthful national teams in the ongoing second round qualifiers of the 2019 African U-20 Nations Championship will take place on May 18 in Lusaka.
Zambia started the match well stringing good passes and were the more comfortable side on the ball. 18 year-old striker Francisco Mwepu put the visitors ahead after 34 minutes and the first half ended 1-0.
After the break, Zambia resumed from where they had left off, producing a sequence of chances in front of Fiacre Ntwali’s goal. The pressure from the Zambians made the junior wasps commit many fouls and on the 59th minute, Protais Sindambiwe was sent off after a sliding tackle on Zambian midfielder Lameck Benda.
With a man less, the junior wasps could not hold off the free flowing Zambians and on the 78th minute, Francisco Mwepu added another goal after rounding off the wasps’ defense to produce a tasteful finish.
The Junior Chipolopolo were the better team and now need a draw to reach the third and final round of qualifiers for the continental showpiece – scheduled for February 24 – March 10, 2019 in Niger.
En route to the second round of qualifiers, Rwanda bundled out Kenya thanks to the away goals advantage. The teams played out a 1-all draw in Nairobi before playing out a goalless draw in the return leg in Kigali.
Rwanda has not been to finals of the biennial continental tournament since 2009, when it hosted the competition.
For Rwanda to progress, they will have to defeat Zambia in the second-leg, by a score margin greater than two goals.
The New Times
Dusingizimana Remy is a journalist for Umuryango.rw. He studied at the University of Rwanda.He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication. He started his career in writing about sports in 2015.Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @REMY SAGAN