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2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Mozambique Labour To Draw With Rwanda

Mozambique made an unconvincing start to their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign after rallying to draw 1-1 with Rwanda on Thursday at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Mambas lacked the spark that characterized their forays in previous assignments and were off colour.

Rwanda looked combative in midfield and solid at the back, which was difficult for Elias Pelembe, leading the attack alongside Ratifo, to break down.

From on the onset it was all about Mozambique asking the questions and won a free-kick close to the box when defender deliberately handled the ball.

Rwanda nearly went ahead in the 27th minute as Medie Kagere caused more havoc down the right flank, before picking out Rafael York, who volleyed just wide of the target from 12-yards out.

Saddan Guambe Kito came close to giving Mambas lead in the 34th minute but Rwanda goalkeeper, Olivier Kwizera, was on hand to keep out the midfielder’s stinging effort from distance.

Mambas saw more of the ball as the first half drew to a close, although the decision-making in the final third was not up to par.

Rwanda were threatening down the flanks and were presented with an opening 10 minutes into the second half when Ali Serumogo cut in from the left, before blasting horribly wide from the edge of the box.

Amavubi eventually broke the deadlock 65th minute, as Kagere laid the ball off for Blaise Nishimiwe, who sent a beautiful ball into the net from 12-yards out.

Four minutes later, Mozambique managed to pull level, as Stanely Ratifo headed into the back of the net from point-blank range.

From there, it was a meandering encounter but few chances were created but Rwanda were happy with their display.

Mozambique must gather momentum and face Beni, who face reigning Afcon champions Senegal in Dakar on the evening of Saturday, 4 June.

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