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Rwanda knocks out Rising Stars from U20 AFCON race

Sandra Wekesa @PeopleSports11

The National U20 Football team, Rising Stars, has bowed out of the race for a place in the Africa U20 Cup of Nations after being bundled out by Rwanda.

The team under the tutelage of former Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi played to a barren draw against Rwanda in Kigali on Saturday to be eliminated on the away goal rule after playing to a 1-1 draw during the first leg held in Machakos on April 1.

During the first leg, Richard Odada had given the Rising Stars an early lead that was canceled out by Rague Byikingiro with less than a minute left on the clock and this has come back to haunt Okumbi’s side.

Rwanda will now face Zambia in the second round of the qualifiers set to be played between May 11, and May 20. Coach Stanley Okumbi had made notable inclusions in the team ahead of the second leg with an aim of outdoing Rwanda’s away goal advantage, but his new inclusions failed to make a difference.

Mathare United forward John Mwangi and his Kariobangi Sharks counterpart Ovella Ochieng were drafted into the squad as well as goalkeeper Brian Bwire, defender Moses Mudavadi and Nzoia Sugar offensive midfielder Patrick Otieno all who missed the first leg had been included to save face in the second leg, but their inclusion failed to produce the required goal.

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