Rwanda survived an onslaught from Benin to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Friendship Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Gilbert Mugisha gave the visiting Rwandan Wasps an early lead in the 13th minute in Cotonou. After losing teen Hakim Sahabo to a red card, the visitors conceded a late equalizer when substitute Steve Mounie struck.
Gernot Rohr’s side went on to boss proceedings and wasted numerous opportunities before Steve Mounie eventually restored parity eight minutes from time.
The result suited neither team as Senegal have six points and Mozambique four from two matches in Group L, and Rwanda two and Benin one having played an additional match.=
Gernot Rohr, a 69-year-old German who coached Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, succeeded local Moussa Latoundji last week.
Charged with turning around the fortunes of a team beaten by Senegal and Mozambique last June, Rohr cut a colourful figure in a green cap, red top, black pants and gleaming white shoes.
He will have been disappointed that Benin, who had a numerical advantage for 35 minutes, could not convert their second-half dominance into a victory.
Nicknames are revered in African football and after many years of debate, Benin recently changed theirs from Squirrels to Cheetahs, believing the new name would strike fear into rivals.
“Squirrels are harmless creatures who do not frighten anyone whereas Cheetahs are much more imposing animals,” said a Beninese football spokesman.