Wednesday Nov 15, 2023. 17:09
Nothing could separate Rwanda and Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, as the two nations recorded a 0-0 draw in their opening Group C 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The game got off to a cagey affair at the Huye Stadium, as Rwanda and Zimbabwe crapped for the ball in the middle of the park. As the dust settled, Zimbabwe took the patient approach in their build-up play while Rwanda looked to catch their opponents on the break.
Amavubi looked dangerous after 10 minutes on the clock and created a couple of notable scoring chances on the break. However, Zimbabwe sat tight and dealt with Rwanda’s early pressure.
Djihad Bizimana produced the game’s first attempt at goal in the 20th minute, after he found himself in a favourable position inside the Zimbabwe half. Nonetheless, his shot from range went wide, affording the Warriors an opportunity to reset.
Terrence Dzvukamanja, who replaced the injured Admiral Muskwe in the 23rd minute, provided Zimbabwe a much-needed spark in attack. The SuperSport United star was at the end of two goal scoring opportunities but were met by doggish Rwandan defending.
Rwanda then ended the half on a high, with Lague Byiringiro and Bonheur Mugisha causing havoc on the edge of the Zimbabwe area. However, the Warriors managed to see out the first 45 unscathed.
Amavubi set the pace at the beginning of the second-half, which forced Zimbabwe back into their own quarters. Innocent Nshuti came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the 50th minute, after being played through on goal by Hakim Sahabo. After a crack at goal, Nshuti’s shot was subsequently parried away by goalkeeper Bernard Donovan.
Zimbabwe began turning the screws as the hour-mark approached, with Marshal Munetsi being the creator-in-chief for his side. The Warriors produced their best chance of the game in the 61st minute, with Gerald Takwara’s header from a corner situation going narrowly wide.
The Warriors continued to pile on the pressure toward the end of the game, however, Rwanda remained composed when neutralizing the visitor’s attacking advancements.
Rwanda: Ntwari, Imanishimwe (Niyomugabo 82’ ), Mutsinzi, Manzi, Omborenga, Sahabo (Muhire 76’), Bizimana, Byiringiro (Gitego 45’), Nshuti (Sibomana 76’), Mugisha (Niyonzima 46’)
Zimbabwe: Donovan, Takwara, Hadebe, Lunga, Mbeba, Munetsi, Nakamba, Banda, Musona (Chirinda 68’), Dube (Kadewere 74’), Muskwe (Dzvukamanja 23’)