Sports

CHAN qualification: Nshimiyimana hopeful

  • By Bonnie Mugabe
  • July 16, 2013
photo
Eric Nshimiyimana faces a tough task of guiding Rwanda to CHAN final next year. The New Times/ T. Kisambira.

THE Amavubi coach Eric Nshimiyimana has not given up hope of reaching the final of the Africa Nations Championship despite the away 1-0 loss to Ethiopia in the first leg played over the weekend in Addis Ababa.

A solitary second half strike from Arsa Megersa condemned a below-par Amavubi to a soul searching defeat on Sunday.

The Rwandan team needs to score and win at least by two goals in the return leg to be played at the Amahoro  stadium next weekend.

Nshimiyimana said after Sunday’s defeat that he will build up a side that would avenge the defeat in Kigali, a statement that brings hope for the team but might not reflect reality.

“The team played good football and a slim lack of concentration in the defence cost us. Ethiopia were good in midfield and flanks. We must learn from this defeat and regroup to see that we get the needed result in Kigali and i believe it’s possible,”

Nshimiyimana’s side is in a difficult position to reach the 2014 CHAN finals in South Africa and they only have to work harder and prepare a team better for the return leg.

Amavubi Stars might be kissing a hand of goodbye from the CHAN qualifiers, hardly a month after bowing out of the World Cup race to Brazil.

At home, the Walya Antelopes have reigned supreme over hosts Rwanda and the Kigali mission is seemingly a gamble but either results can be ruled out since football is full of miracles and huge unpredictability when it comes to match results, but the task is virtually big for the wasps.

In 2000, Ethiopia beat Rwanda 4-2 on penalties after a 1-all draw in the play-off match of the Cecafa Challenge Cup held in Kampala and in 2005, Ethiopia beat Rwanda 1-0 to lift the Cecafa Challenge Cup held in Kigali.

But during the 2010 Fifa world cup qualifier, Rwanda beat Ethiopia away in Addis and remains the only recent win Amavubi has had over their counterparts.

No one knows for sure what will be the outcome of the return leg in Kigali but a job has to be done if victory is to be realised by the brand of the Amavubi team we have for now.


Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw

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