President Paul Kagame’s sons Ian Kigenza Kagame and Brian Cyizere Kagame featured in the Rwanda U-20 side that settled for a one all draw against their Moroccan counterparts in a commemoration game on Saturday at Amahoro Stadium.
Ian, who is also a profound basketball player, was fielded upfront as a forward in the Rwanda starting lineup along with Blaise Itangishaka in a diamond formation.
Prior to that, Ian read out an English message to commemorate the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi along with Rwanda captain Dominique Savio Nshuti and Moroccan captain Hamza Hannouri who read the same message in Kinyarwanda and French respectively.
Itangishaka opened the scoring in the first minute when he slotted past Moroccan goalkeeper Achraf Sidki to hand Jean Baptiste Kayiranga’s side an early lead.
The Rwandan outfit grew in confidence thereafter dominating possession with Nshuti making several runs into the box from the left flank as Itangishaka continued to trouble the Moroccan defense.
Ian made way for Park Udahemuka in the 27th minute much to applause from his mother and First Lady Jeannette Kagame, first daughter Ange Kagame as well as the fans in attendance.
Morocco grew into the game as Hicham Boussoufiane and Fadiz Othman constantly came close but for Rwandan goalkeeper Bonheur Hategekimana’s brilliance between the posts.
However, in the 43rd minute Boussoufiane equalized for Mark Wotte’s side to level matters just before the half time mark.
At the beginning of the second half, Wotte introduced Sioudi Aissa, Abdelhadi Boumzairig, Mohamed Elmorabit and Anas Jabroun while Jean Paul Ahoyikuye came on for Amani Niyonkuru.
Consequently, Kayiranga made more changes as Olivier Nsabimana replaced Udahemuka while Kagame’s youngest son Bryan Cyizere Kagame was introduced for Djabel Manishimwe in the 74th minute.
Abeddy Biramahire, Kimenyi Kakira and Sadjati Niyonkuru came on for Jacques Ntwari, Nshuti and Vedaste Niyibizi in that order while Anass Nouaderand Maati Tamayazou who replaced goalscorer Boussoufiane joined the fray as both sides settled for a draw.
This is the second edition of the Commemoration Cup with the inaugural one last year attracting the senior teams of Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and hosts Rwanda.