For once, this was a big-name match-up that lived up to the billing for Rwanda, especially in terms of the goals scored and the ebb and flow of the match to win away from home.
Rwanda-Amavubi defeated neighbors DR Congo 3-2 in the international friendly played away at the Stade de Martyrs in Kinshasa.
The game was serving as preparation for both sides as the gear up for the their respective 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) final round qualifiers.
The host dominated the first half with six corner kicks before Ava Dongo opened the scores for the Leopards on the 42 minute of the game.
Amavubi-Rwanda captain Haruna Niyonzima started the game having secured his national creditals, he was instrumental in that his corner kick was a blessing for the visitors who netted an equalizer with Thierry Manzi making no mistake but placed his header at the back of the net on the 45 minute of the game to make it one-all.
The first half ended one-all, and for the first time both teams were meeting having last faced off in January three years ago during the quarter-finals of the 4th CHAN finals edition at Amahoro Stadium, which the Leopards of DR Congo won 2-1 en route to lifting their second CHAN title.
The second half was better, Amavubi looked hungier, they won the lions share of the opening minutes when they swung the game back in thier favour Haruna in particular was immense.
He looked looked like he did in his last days as the captain.
He showed the quality that Amavubi fans are crying out for.
Just fourteen minutes into the game, Rwanda’s APR FC striker Ernest Sugira was target scoring the second to put Rwanda in the lead on the 59 minute.
Three minutes later, AS Kigali midfielder Eric Nsabimana gave the visitors the winner to make it 3-1.
The host though did their best in the last dying minutes through set pieces, on the 86 minutes right winger Joel Kayamba scored the second but that was not enough to secure his side a draw.
The game ended 3-2 in favour of the Rwanda.
For coach Vincent Mashami, a win was a positive result ahead of his first-leg clash against Ethiopia, that is due Sunday at Mekelle Stadium, with the reverse-leg scheduled for October 18 at Kigali Stadium.
Amavubi squad that travelled to DR Congo
Goalkeepers: Eric Ndayishimiye (AS Kigali), Omar Rwabugiri (APR FC) and Yves Kimenyi (Rayon Sports)
Defenders: Fitina Omborenga (APR), Eric Iradukunda (Rayon Sports), Emmanuel Imanishimwe (APR), Eric Rutanga (Rayon Sports), Thierry Manzi (APR), Ange Mutsinzi (APR), Latif Bishira (AS Kigali) and Aimable Nsabimana (Police).
Midfielders: Andrew Buteera (APR), Eric Nsabimana (AS Kigali), Imran Nshimiyimana (Rayon Sports), Olivier Sefu Niyonzima (APR) Jean Claude Iranzi (APR) and Haruna Niyonzima (AS Kigali).
Forwards: Danny Usengimana (APR), Ernest Sugira (APR), Kevin Ishimwe (APR), Yannick Bizimana (Rayon Sports), Justin Mico (Police) and Djabel Manishimwe (APR).