It was an intriguing scene at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium in Dakar on Tuesday night as Rwanda held African champions Senegal for 97 minutes until Liverpool talisman Sadio Mane converted a 98th minute to hand them the maximum points after a clumsy challenge on Ciss Saliu by Ange Mutsinzi.
Despite the defeat, the Amavubi gave a very good account of themselves and is something the country’s football fraternity should be proud of as few teams survive for such a long time in Dakar against the Teranga Lion.
Generally, it was a great game for the Amavubi and Times Sport looks at five things we learnt from the encounter.
Amavubi now have a defined playing system
Unlike under Vincent Mashami that no one could tell the system or pattern the Amavubi play, the team under Carlos Alos is playing an identifiable pattern.
You can see from the two games the Amavubi have played away from home, they like to soak pressure and try to hit on the counter and they use the wing backs to great effect.
The 3-5-2 formation that the Spanish gaffer is using is very efficient and has made the team tight.
The team is full of confidence now
It was an awesome display against the African champions and a team which is ranked 116 places below Senegal has to have enough confidence to do that.
The Amavubi went into the game in full force and proved that with self-belief, they can go all out against the best on the continent.
Imanishimwe has potential to be among best left-backs in Africa
The FAR Rabat left back once again proved that commanding a regular place at club level is no fluke as he showed it in international football for his country.
Imanishimwe was a delight to watch throughout the game with excellent defending and occasionally popping up on the flanks with his marauding runs.
Clearly, Imanishimwe showed he can compete with the best on the continent.
Amavubi needs another skilful midfielder
The Amavubi midfield is made up of very combatant players who are able to shield the back four very well and also spoil formation of the opponent.
What the team lacks now is a very skilful player with a low centre of gravity like Anicet Ishimwe who can serve as a link between the midfield and attack and can also score goals.
Coach Carlos Alos has proven that he has an eye for quality and it is evident he can scout for such a talent before the next game against Benin.
The team has improved in different areas of the pitch
Within the shortest time, Carlos Alos has shown that he is a good coach as the team has improved immensely.
Now, the Amavubi are playing very well and from how they held Senegal until the last minute, it is clear that the team will get much better.
The team was without injured Abdul Rwatubyaye.