Amavubi coach Micho ‘dreaming’ of good result
2014 World Cup qualifiers
Algeria vs Rwanda 21:30
Benin vs Mali
Côte d’Ivoire vs Tanzania
The Gambia vs Morocco
Nigeria vs Namibia
Kenya vs Malawi
Senegal vs Liberia
Angola vs Uganda
BLIDA – Rwanda’s national football team, Amavubi Stars, embark on yet another attempt at playing in the world’s biggest football competition when they take on Algeria in the first Group H 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier tonight.
The match will be played at Mustapha Tchaker stadium in Blida, the country’s second biggest city at 20.30 hours Algerian time (21.30 CAT).
Rwanda faces Algeria for the third time in a space of four years. In their last two meetings, both sides played out a goalless draw in Kigali before Amavubi lost 3-1 in Algiers during qualifiers for 2010 South Africa World Cup finals.
Ever since he was appointed head coach last year, Milutin Sredojovic Micho has tried to improve the Amavubi squad and, after nine months in charge, the Serbian faces an uphill task of getting a first win for Amavubi on North African soil.
Despite losing to Libya (2-0) and Tunisia (5-1) and a 1-all draw against Chad in the three international warm-up matches, Micho is hopeful and believes that his team can snatch a good result.
“We are well aware of what we’re going to come up against and the players know what is expected of them, so I should say we’re ready, the Serbian told Times Sport after the team’s training session yesterday.
He added, “Playing at this level comes with so much pressure but that’s football, we have to deal with it. We will be aiming for a good result, Algeria has top players but we have to concentrate on ourselves”.
“The results from our last three matches haven’t been ideal but at least we know where we stand going into the big game on Saturday. We can dream of a good result, and will do our best to try to achieve it,” added Micho.
Algeria’s coach Vahid Halilhodzic has urged his forces to go on the offensive from the first whistle.
He said, “We want to win the match against Rwanda, not only just to win but with a good score. We won’t underestimate them despite losing against Tunisia and Libya in their warm-up matches”.
“We have prepared well for this game and I hope we get a good result,” added the 59-year old Bosnian who guided Côte d’Ivoire to 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
The Amavubi delegation arrived in Algiers on Thursday evening with a fully-fit squad but Micho will need all his players to perform at their very best if they are to end a run of bad results against North African oppositions.
It is, of course, not only Algeria with whom Rwanda have to contend. Benin and Mali are the other two teams in Group H, and Micho is aware that his team will have their work cut out if they are to make it to the final qualifying round.
After facing Algeria, Rwanda will take on Benin in Kigali on June 10, before heading to Nigeria for the second leg of the 2013 Confederation of African Nations qualifiers against the Super Eagles on June 16. Rwanda has never qualified for the World Cup.
Rwanda: Jean Claude Ndoli, Emery Bayisenge, Jean Claude Iranzi, Eric Gasana, Jonas Nahimana, Jean Mugiraneza, Haruna Niyonzima, Meddie Kagere, Dady Birori, Olivier Karekezi and Bokota Labama.
Algeria: Rais Mbolhi, Ismael Bouzid, Carl Medjani, Abderahmane Hachoud, Adlene Guedioura, Medhi Lacen, Djamel Mesbah, Sofiane Fehgouli, Hamer Bouzza, Kamel Ghilas and Rafik Djebbour.
Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw