Amavubi coach turns attention to Libya clash


Faustin Usengimana (right) and Thierry Manzi (not in picture) marshalled Amavubi defence quite impressively. / Courtesy.

Friday: Group C
Libya 1-0 Nigeria
Rwanda 1-0 Eq. Guinea

Tuesday: Group C
Rwanda Vs Libya 9pm
Nigeria Vs Eq. Guinea 9pm

Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey says there is no time to celebrate the win over Equatorial Guinea at the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) Morocco on Friday night.

The German tactician said this after guiding his team to a 1-0 victory, which followed a goalless draw against Nigeria last week. Hey said the focus must now be on the final group game against Libya on Tuesday at Grand Stade de Tanger in Tanger.

Equatorial Guinea will take on Nigeria on the same day – both matches will be played simultaneously.

Central defender Thierry Manzi’s glancing header in the 66th minute off Djihad Bizimana’s corner kick was enough for Rwanda to secure victory over Equatorial Guinea and go second in Group C with four points, level with leaders Nigeria after their 1-0 win against Libya.

“We are very happy for this victory after the draw against Nigeria, I thank my players. We did not have a good match; I thought we were too hesitant but I feel that there is an improvement in the team,” Hey said after Friday night’s vi ctory.

He added that, “Equatorial Guinea created a lot of problems for us, especially on counter attacks. The result of the match Libya-Nigeria suits us. We will approach the match of Libya with the same determination.”

“This is big step but we have to continue winning. We need to fight until the end. We have enough time to recover for the match against Libya, but we have to be prepared because we know it will be a very difficult game,” Hey declared.

His counterpart of Equatorial Guinea, Rodolfo Bodipo said, “We have a young team but we tried to create problems for the opponent. The players played without pressure. It was really cruel for us today because we played well, but we did not win.”

Rwanda created a couple of scoring chances through Yannick Mukunzi, Fitina Ombalenga, Dominique Savio Nshuti, Abeddy Birimahire and Eric Rutanga but they all failed to beat Eq. Guinea goalkeeper Miguel Eyama.

Equatorial Guinea’s Pedro Oba missed easy chances after Amavubi goalie Eric Ndayishimiye put in superb saves while striker Birimahire forced a save from Eyama four minutes after the restart.

Oba caused the Rwandan defense problems and could have put Equatorial Guinea in front but failed to connect to a cross when he was left unmarked at the back post in the 64th minute, two minutes before Manzi headed in the winner for Amavubi.

Eyama pulled off a magnificent acrobatic save on 83rd minute to deny substitute Muhadjiri Hakizimana as Amavubi searched for a second goal.

Manzi was named man of the match, the second award for Rwanda in the tournament following Djihad Bizimana in the first game against Nigeria.

The defeat knocked out Equatorial Guinea after they went down 3-0 against Libya in their first outing whereas Nigeria, Rwanda and Libya all have a chance of making the last eight.

Amavubi midfielder Muhadjiri Hakizimana battles for ball possesion with Miguel Angel Ngomo of Equatorial Guinea.
Faustin Usengimana, right and Thierry Manzi (not in picture) marshalled Amavubi defence quite impressively.
Rwanda's Eric Iradukunda had a good game at right-back until he was replaced by Fitina Omborenga in the second half. / Courtesy
Yannick Mukunzi was at the heart of things in Amavubi central midfield against Equatorial Guinea on Friday night. / Courtesy