Rwanda produced a superb first-half display to record a historic win over South Africa and ended their six-match winless run with a 2-0 victory in their second match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at Huye Stadium on Tuesday.
Having drawn their opening Group C match 0-0 against Zimbabwe, Amavubi under new coach Torsten Spittler took the initiative to get their first win and they were rewarded with goals from Innocent Nshuti in the 12th minute and Gilbert Mugisha in the 28th minute to silence the visiting side.
The hosts were coming into the game without recording a single goal at home in 26 months, while South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on a 12-match unbeaten streak, were the overwhelming favourites to secure six points lead at the top of Group C after Nigeria and Zimbabwe had failed to secure win.
However, the artificial surface that was also waterlogged following a thunderstorm before kick-off provided challenges for the visitors, as they failed to adapt to the conditions and walked into the break trailing 2-0.
The hosts settled quickly into the game and they almost took the lead with only six minutes played when Lague Byiringiro evaded his marker to meet a cross from Djihad Bizimana but the former failed to hit the target as his weak effort was stopped by Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
However, it did not take Rwanda long to take the lead as Innocent Nshuti found himself in the right place in the 12th minute to stab home a cross from Byiringiro. The goal rejuvenated the Amavubi, who were spurred by their home fans, and it should have been 2-0 in the 18th minute when Nshuti laid a neat pass to Kevin Muhire but the advancing Williams came out quickly to gather the ball.
Ten minutes later, Rwanda stretched their lead when Gilbert Mugisha powered home using his right foot off a cross from Ange Mutsinzi. The goal stunned the Hugo Broos-led Bafana, who had kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 victory against Benin.
The victory saw Rwanda move top of the group on four points, Bafana dropped to second on three points, Nigeria, who are winless from two matches, are third on two, Lesotho fourth on two, Zimbabwe fifth on two while Benin are last on one point.