After Group L leaders Senegal defeated second placed Mozambique this week, Wednesday’s only 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash between hosts Rwanda and Benin was a good opportunity to gain ground but the match ended in a 1-1 draw at the Kigali Pelé Stadium. Jodel Dossou put Benin into the lead with a finish in the 57th minute but Thierry Manzi leveled for the hosts later in the second half. Rwanda are a point behind Mozambique with three points and Benin remain a point back of Rwanda.
The hosts started strong and were presented with an excellent opportunity to take the lead before twenty minutes elapsed. Benin defender Melvyn Doremus handled a cross in the Cheetahs’ penalty area and referee Abdulkadir Artan pointed to the spot for a penalty kick. Rafael York stepped to the spot but his effort was brilliantly saved by Benin goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbé.
The save from Allagbé gave Benin the momentum to grow stronger during the course of the match and in the 57th minute Les Guépards opened the scoring when a pass from Junior Olaitan in the midfield sent Dossou in on goal. The Sochaux attacker easily dribbled past onrushing Rwanda keeper Fiacre Ntwali and finished into an empty net.
Rwanda were determined to earn at least a point at home and Amavubi equalized in the 71st minute when a corner kick from the left wing was floated towards the far post. Striker Meddie Kagere headed the ball back across the face of the goal for Manzi to head in and the teams shared the spoils.
Highlights from the match are below.