Mainland freeze Rwanda `wasps`
It was skipper Shadrack Nsajigwa who converted the all important penalty for the host side after 62 minutes when striker John Boko was earlier brought down inside the box on his way to score.
Rwanda players protested the penalty bitterly but referee stuck to his guns. Cheered by a handful of spectators who braved the heavy rains that started to fall as the second half got underway, Kilimanjaro Stars fought gallantly to seal off the semifinal berth.
The host side that scrapped through have two matches to kill the 36 year-old hoodoo of failing to win the title before supporting home fans.
Rwanda head coach Sallas Teteh was not happy with the referee’s decision for the resultant penalty that saw his team sent packing at this stage.
Rwanda who battled to lose last year’s final to eventual winners Uganda, had their coach stunned in disbelief as his boys who fought wholeheartedly lost “prematurely” at the quarterfinal stage this time.
Amavubi or “wasps” as Rwanda national team is known failed to sparkle as rain continued to pour.
The Kilimanjaro Stars who last won the title in 1994 in Nairobi, twenty years after their home soil win, have a tough hurdle to cross over the eleven-time winners Uganda, who are also seeking to post a hat-trick of titles.
The crowd at the stadium had earlier seen Zanzibar lose their grip by penalty shootouts to Uganda.
All the semifinals will be played tomorrow as Ethiopia face invitees Cote d’Ivoire at the same venue ahead of the Sunday’s final.
The full line-up of Kilimanjaro Stars that floored Rwanda yesterday are Juma Kaseja, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Stephano Mwasika, Kelvin Yondan, Juma Nyoso, Shaaban Nditi, Henry Joseph/Mohamed Banka/ Jabir Aziz, John Boko, Mrisho Ngasa, Nurdin Bakari and Idrissa Rajab.
Jean Ndayishimiye, Clement Mutunzi, AimableRucogoza, Abouba Sibomana, Haruna Niyonzima, Jumaine
Ntamuhanga, Jean Claude Iranzi, Eric Gasana, Dady Birori, Peter Kagabo.