Amavubi coach calls for more exposure
Matches played so far:
Algeria 4-0 Rwanda
Benin 1-0 Mali
Rwanda 1-1 Benin
Mali 2-1 Algeria
Algeria vs Benin
Rwanda vs Mali
Benin vs Algeria
Mali vs Rwanda
Rwanda vs Algeria
Mali vs Benin
Algeria vs Mali
Benin vs Rwanda
AMAVUBI Stars head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojovic rued the missed chances and lack of concentration in-front of the opponent’s goal following the team’s 1-all draw with Benin in a group H 2014 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Micho is disappointed with the result but happy with the commitment, dedication and hard work of his players.
“If there was justice in football, we were supposed to win this game, but lack of experience at the international level by most of our players hugely affected our push for maximum points.
“We came into the game determined to win. We had a perfect first half and created many goal scoring chances, which we unfortunately did not convert,” said the Serb in the post-match press conference
However, Micho believes the future of Rwandan football lies in playing many international football matches beyond the Cecafa region. “Amavubi is good on the Cecafa level but we need to improve beyond our region.”
The coach acknowledged his team still have some work to do, especially with another crucial 2013 Nations Cup eliminator against Nigeria coming on Saturday.
The Amavubi need any scoring draw to keep alive their hopes of making South Africa.
Bokota Labama scored Rwanda’s equaliser from the penalty spot after he was adjudged to have been fouled in Benin penalty area when through on goal.
Razak Omotoyossi had given the visitors the lead, profiting from a defensive misunderstanding between Salomon Nirisarike and Eric Gasana to tap home from close range.
Amavubi, who had the upper hand against Benin, remain bottom of the table with one point with Benin leading the standings with four points.
Mali, who beat Algeria 2-1 in Quagadougou is in third position with an inferior goal difference over the rival second placed Desert Foxe.
Despite losing key striker Elias Uzamukunda early in the game, Amavubi dominated on Sunday, creating more scoring opportunities just in the opening 45 minutes than they did the entire game against Algeria.
Apart from Tunaine Ntamuhanga, who hit the post, Uzamukunda and Dady Birori missed the two other clearer openings in the first half when they should have done better.
In the second period, with the home team enjoying majority of possession and not looking like conceding, Bokota headed Jean Claude Iranzi’s superb cross just wide off the mark when well placed on the near post.
Moments later, the Rayon Sports veteran striker again chose to go for a shot from a very tight angle and blasted over when a low cross to the well-placed Meddie Kagere should have been a better option.
Benin took a shock lead in the 73rd minute but Amavubi kept pushing forward without causing much trouble for the visiting goalkeeper Fabien Farnolle, who was booked for time wasting.
The equaliser arrived when Bokota’s persistence paid off with five minutes left—he won the penalty and, under a lot of pressure converted it despite Farnolle getting a hand on the ball.
Amavubi were not done and kept going, won a couple of corners in quick succession in search for the winner and Birori thought he had got it but his well-timed header in the last minute of stoppage time was tipped over the crossbar for a corner, which resulted into nothing.
Rwanda’s next qualifier will be in March in Kigali next year against group leaders Mali whose win over Algeria, leaves the group wide open.