Hosts, Rwanda started out their campaign at the ongoing African Nations Championships, CHAN on winning note as they piped a highly resilient Ivorian team by a lone goal.
The solitary strike that gave the hosts the dream start they craved for came off the boots of Defender Emery Bayisenge who turned the hero for the Amavubi with his well-taken free-kick on the quarter-hour mark.
Ivorian defender, Gbagnon Badie fouled Celestin Ndayishimiye at the edge of the penalty area. Bayisenge elected himself for the resulting free-kick, curling straight into the net for the goal that turned out to be the winner.
Both teams gave a good account of themselves and were only unlucky not to alter the score line.
The host even survived a late scare on 89 minutes after Guiza’s volley bounced off the crossbar with Ndayishimiye completely beaten.
Having done enough to hold on to their slim lead, Rwanda leads the pack in Group A with three points while Cote d’Ivoire are bottom.
The other group game between Gabon and Morocco at the same venue ended in a barren stalemate.