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Young super-sub Lague Byiringiro lifts Rwanda to crucial win over Mozambique to keep AFCON qualification possible

Armée Patriotique Rwandaise FC forward Lague Byiringiro made a massive impact after coming on as a halftime substitute for Rwanda, providing a spark to the attack and scoring the game winner in Amavubi’s 1-0 win over Mozambique on Wednesday in Kigali. The first goal in five AFCON qualifying games, the result puts Rwanda on five points into second place in Group F for now with Cameroon and Cape Verde set to play on Thursday. The Mambas of Mozambique suffer their third straight qualifying loss and will need a win at home against Cape Verde in their final match.

The hosts showed the will to get that first goal but continued to lack the final touch throughout most of the game. A speculative long range effort just past 17 minutes was Rwanda’s best opportunity, requiring a strong fist from Mambas goalkeeper Julio Franque to send the ball over the bar.

After the break it was “do or die” for Rwanda manager Vincent Mashami and two halftime substitutes were brought on. 19-year-old Byiringiro shook things up immediately, making a penetrating run in the 53rd minute before his service lacked control. However, the 70th minute saw the adventurous youngster, who looked to run at defenders every time he received the ball, take his turn in the spotlight. Receiving the ball outside the Mozambique penalty area, Byiringiro thumped a powerful effort beyond Franque to give Rwanda their precious goal. Showing potential in bursts at the African Nations Championship for Rwanda, the youngster’s goal represented a step forward.

A couple of late efforts at equalizers were spoiled by Rwanda and APR FC keeper Emery Mvuyekure, with one of Mvuyekure’s saves just being out of the reach of a Mamba attacker on the rebound with an open goal begging. Highlights from the game are below as all teams in Group F are still in the hunt for qualification.

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