Rwanda 1-2 Ivory Coast
Guinea 1-0 Central African Republic
Former AfCON champions Ivory Coast got their Nations Cup campaign back on track with a 2-1 win over host Rwanda at Stade de Kigali on Sunday.
After their opening 3-2 loss to Guinea at home in the first round of qualifiers in June 2017, Ivory Coast was under pressure to earn three points.
Jonathan Kodjia set them on their way with a goal on the stroke of half-time, when he robbed Rwanda’s goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera the ball and slotted into an empty net to give the Elephants the lead.
Max Gradel added a second to make it 2-0 with a stunning angled volley four minutes after the break.
Striker Meddie Kagere scored a nervy finish on his second homecoming for Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars in the 66th minute but Rwanda could not find an equalizer before the game ended in the full 90 minutes.
Rwanda called for the three changes introducing striker Dany Usengimana for Muhadjiri Hakizimana, midfielder Kevin Muhire took over fellow midfielder Yannick Mukunzi’s place and Iranzi Jean Claude stepped in for the Amavubi skipper Haruna Niyonzima.
The victory for Cote D’Ivoire was good enough to earn them their first maximum points in the on-going qualifiers.
Rwanda suffered a second consecutive loss in the qualifiers, having lost 1-0 to the Central Africa Republic in Bangui last year.
Meanwhile, Guinea maintained their 100 percent record in the same group, winning 1-0 against the Central African Republic on Sunday night in Conakry.
Seydouba Soumah scored the lone strike on the evening to extend their lead to six points off two matches.
Cote D’Ivoire and the Central African Republic both have three points apiece with Rwanda glued bottom of the group on no point earned from the first two matches.