Striker Sugira Ernest scored a bicycle goal in the 62nd minute to give Rwanda a first-leg advantage ahead of the return leg to be played in Kigali next month.
Sugira’s goal comes a few days after he was on the score sheet as Rwanda edged DR Congo in a 3-2 international friendly match which was played away in Kinshasa on September 18, 2019.
Good goalkeeping and defending tactics helped Coach Mashami Vincent’s side to seal the win despite efforts from Ethiopian forwards which were unproductive.
The winner over the two legs will automatically secure a ticket to the 6th CHAN finals tournament. Rwanda is on the quest for a fourth appearance in the biennial tournament, having only missed the inaugural (2009) and 2014 editions.
Previously Rwanda qualified for the 2018 CHAN tournament, held in Morocco, after beating Ethiopia 3-2, thanks to goals from Abeddy Biramahire, Eric Rutanga, and Muhadjiri Hakizimana, hosted the 2016 edition in Kigali after taking part in the 2011 edition which was held in Sudan.
The CHAN qualifiers will also act as a preparation advantage for Rwanda ahead of the Total AFCON Cameroon 2021 qualifications, which will kick-off also against Mozambique away in Maputo on November 15 and Cameroon on November 19, 2019, in Kigali.
2020 CHAN Qualifier
Final Round, First Leg Results
Ethiopia 0-1 Rwanda
Burundi 0-3 Uganda
Madagascar 1-0 Namibia
Algeria 0-0 Morocco
Tunisia 1-0 Libya
Mauritania 0-0 Mali
Senegal 1-0 Guinea