Rwanda bowed out of the 2017 Cecafa challenge Cup with one match to go following their goalless draw against Libya in the third game of Group A played on Thursday at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Rwanda went into the game needing nothing less than to win to salvage their hopes of reaching the last four following back-to-back defeats in their opening matches of the group stage campaign.
Coach Antoine Hey fielded his first choice players as he continues to find a winning formula for the youthful squad which will represent Rwanda at next year’s Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) which will be held in Morocco.
Against Libya, their CHAN opponents, Rwanda displayed good performances which were full of missed goal scoring opportunities.
Amavubi goalie Eric Ndayishimiye was forced to make an early save in the seventh minute from Taktak Muftah’s effort.
Striker Mico Justin and Abeddy Biramahire wasted several back to back chances as their utilise their best efforts.
Libya had also their best chances wasted from Mohamed Amhimid and Tubal Mohammed and thanks to good defending from man of the match Manzi Thierry and Faustin Usengimana, the duo alongside their experienced goalie Eric Ndayishimiye played a pivotal role as they denied Libyans crucial chances that would have changed the score line.
The draw left Rwanda bottom of the five-team group with one point while the Libyans are third after picking up three consecutive goalless draws in the tournament.
Both Rwanda and Libya are using the regional tournament as a dress rehearsal before they meet against in January, 2018 in the group stages of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Libya next faces group leaders Zanzibar next Monday while Rwanda will take on Tanzania Mainland on Saturday.
Still in Group A, Zanzibar took control of Group A with six points following their 2-1 win over Tanzania Mainland in an earlier game played in Machakos.
Zanzibar leads the standings with six points, two ahead of hosts Kenya whom they play on Saturday evening at the same venue.
In Kakamega, Burundi thrashed Ethiopia 4-1 to take control of Group B with four points. Burundi’s Swallows scored their goals through Prierre Kwizera, Cedric Urasenga, Laudit Mavugo and Shassir Nahimana.
Ethiopia’s consolation goal was scored by Dukele Dawa. Ethiopia are in the second position with three points and champions Uganda are third with one point while South Sudan are placed bottom with no point.
Action continues on Friday with defending champions Uganda facing minnows South Sudan at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega at 3pm (2pm Kigali time).
2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup
Tanzania 1-2 Zanzibar
Rwanda 0-0 Libya
Ethiopia 1-4 Burundi