AMAVUBI will have to negotiate this year’s Orange Cecafa Challenge Cup without Mbuyu Twite. The influential defender has failed to recover from a leg injury and has been left out of the 25-man contingent which departs for Nairobi this morning.
According to Amavubi’s stand in coach Eric Nshimiyimana, the APR star is still struggling to move his right leg following an injury he sustained during Rwanda’s decisive 2010 Nations Cup qualifier against Zambia.
Despite Twite’s injury blow, Nshimiyimana insists that the players are desperate to make amends after failing to qualify for next year’s CAN. The team, which was drawn in Group C alongside African champions Egypt, Algeria and Zambia, had a disastrous campaign after managing two points from a possible 18 to finish bottom of the group.
Needing to win their final tie by a two-goal margin to secure the group’s final ticket to Angola, the team was frustratingly held to a goalless draw by Zambia’s Chipolopolo to halt their dreams of playing in what would be their second Nations Cup tournament.
On paper, Amavubi, who have been drawn in Group B alongside Somalia, Eritrea and Cosafa champions Zimbabwe should sting their way to the knock out stage but Nshimiyimana is leaving nothing to chance.
“We know that people expect us to not to struggle at the group stage but we just want to concentrate on each game and see what happens,” the former Amavubi midfielder said.
Rwanda, who open their campaign this Sunday against Somalia, have won the regional event once-in 1999 when the country fielded two teams-Rwanda A and Rwanda B.
The latter went on to beat Kenya 3-1 in the final.
The team leaves at 11.20am aboard Kenya Airways.