Rwanda handball team started on a bright note as they edged arch rivals Uganda 30-29 in the opening match of the 2018 Africa Zone 5 Junior International Handball Federation (IHF) Challenge Trophy staged on Monday at Lugogo indoor stadium, Kampala.
Rwanda who are defending champions and favourites to win the tournament went into the tournament against Uganda which was aiming to the avenge 2016 defeat (32-38) which was a bitter pill for the neighbors to swallow.
The first half score between Rwanda and Uganda ended in a 14-all draw with the Rwandan side improving in the second half to comfortably win the game.
Speaking to KT Press on Monday from Kampala, head coach Bagirishya Anaclet said, “It was a tight game against the Ugandans who enjoyed home support. The game was a revenge encounter to them but thanks to my players we secured a deserved victory.”
“The result puts us in a favourite position to retain the title but we have to work hard in the remaining matches to ensure that we finish this tournament on top of the standings,” added Bagirishya.
This year’s tournament has attracted Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Somalia in Group while Group is composed of Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.
Champions in this Zone 5 tourney will book a slot at the continental championship which also doubles as the world cup qualifiers.
Last time Uganda hosted the championship in 2016, the men’s side were beaten by Rwanda while the women’s team over powered rivals Kenya in the final.
Rwanda takes on Burundi on Tuesday on the second day of the tournament.
Rwanda Handball Team:
Players: Sengoga Credo Bruno, Hakizimana Jean Claude, Muhumure Elysee, Tuyishime Zacharie, Igirimpuhwe Gad, Murisanze Cedric, Mbesutunguwe Samuel, Nshimiyimana Alexis, Karenzi Yannick, Izabayo Isaie, Niyonambaje Jean Paul, Nsengiyumva Dieudonne, Hagenimana Fidele and Kayijamahe Yves.
Technical Team: Bagirishya Anaclet (Head Coach), Mudaharishema Sylvester (Assistant Coach), Unjima Alberto (GK Coach) and Niyokwizera Joel (Team Manager).