Abuja – Rwanda’s national under-20 men football team on Tuesday at the Stade Regional in Kigali defeated Nigeria’s Flying Eagles 1-0 in a warm-up game.
The Nigerian under-20 team lost to an 85th minute goal by France-based striker Bon-Fils Kabanda.
The Flying Eagles had several chances to score in the game earlier, but they failed to take them before loss of concentration gave Kabanda the opportunity to score.
Speaking in an interview with journalists after the match, Flying Eagles’ chief coach John Obuh said he was however not going to lose any sleep over the result.
“It was a good match and a draw would have been a better result for us.
“But we should not lose sight of the real purpose of this match, which is to prepare for the real game in Tanzania on Sunday.
“We hope to make the necessary corrections from this outing for a good result in Dar es Salam,’’ he said.
The Flying Eagles who arrived Rwanda on Monday were on their way to Tanzania for a 2013 African Youth Championship (AYC) qualifier.
The coach said his team could not afford to be dejected ahead of the July 29 match which is the first leg match of the pairing.
“Rather we should pick ourselves up and be positive going into the game in Tanzania,” he said.
The match in Kigali had witnessed a cautious start by both teams with the lively Charles Tibingana coming close to getting the opening goal for the home team.
This was after just 12 minutes, when his header from inside the box flashed narrowly off its mark.
Nigeria had responded immediately, when Chidi Osuchukwu’s shot from distance screamed wide and minutes later striker Alhaji Gero’s effort was deflected for a corner kick.
Osuchukwu then carved out one of the best chances of the day in the 42nd minute.
His left-footed shot from inside the box was scrambled by Rwanda goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera for a corner kick.
Both Gero and right-back Shehu Abdullahi also saw their efforts failing to hit target in the dying moments of the first half.
After the restart, Aminu Umar’s shot from an acute angle crashed against the side netting as Nigeria dictated the pace.
They had introduced several of their top players like Aliyu Mohammed, Uche Agbo, Jonah Usman, Harrison Egbune, Hassan Abubakar and Yahaya Adamu.
In the 63rd minute of the match, Emmanuel Sebanani ought to have put Rwanda ahead but he wasted the chance from a very big opening.
Agbo also threatened the Rwanda goal at least twice and, in between, substitute goalkeeper Usman saved a goal-bound header by Rwanda.
The match was played at the same stadium the Super Eagles held the Rwandan senior national team to a goalless draw late in February in a 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier.
The Rwandan junior side, which recently defeated Tanzania twice away from home, are billed to host Mali in a 2013 AYC qualifier the same weekend Nigeria face the Ngorogoro Stars of Tanzania.
The Flying Eagles will depart Kigali for Dar es Salam Thursday afternoon ahead of their own qualifier.(NAN)