Amavubi take on Tz in CHAN qualifier today


Rwanda CHAN team captain and first choice goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimiye gives a thumbs up in training in preparation for today's game against Tanzania. Sam Ngendahimana

First leg
Tanzania Vs Rwanda 3:30pm

AMAVUBI head coach Antoine Hey is confident about his team’s chances of getting a positive result against Tanzania when the two sides meet in the 2018 CHAN second qualification round first leg on Saturday at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza.

Rwanda will host the return leg on July 22 at Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo.

Antoine Hey

Hey said, “We will go into the game looking for nothing less than a win and believe we can achieve our target and reach the next stage. We have to avoid committing any mistakes and stick to our game plan.”

“We will do all we can to get a positive result in first leg. It will be a tough game but I believe in my players’ ability to do a good job ahead of the second leg next week,” the German added.

The 28-man contingent departed for Mwanza on Thursday aboard a RwandAir through Dar es Salaam.

Hey will be looking to win his second competitive game in charge after losing the first against Central Africa Republic 2-1 in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers first leg last month.

In Mwanza, the team is residing at the New Mwanza Hotel. They trained on Friday afternoon at the CCM Kirumba Stadium ahead of today’s game.

Skipper and first choice goalkeeper Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye also said they were in a good position to win the game.

Ndayishimiye noted that, “It is an important game for us and for the country, the coach has told us that we need to work for our country and we have listened to his message,” added the Rayon Sports captain.

“We are almost on the same level as our opponents but we need to put up a good performance in the first leg in order to put ourselves in a good position ahead of the second leg. We need to avoid conceding any goal to give ourselves a chance of qualifying to the next round.”

Bugesera FC defender Aimable ‘Mambo’ Rucogoza returns to the national team after a long spell in wilderness and he could be partnered by APR’s Aimable Nsabimana and Emmanuel Imanishimwe as well as Rayon Sports’ Thierry Manzi in defence.

APR FC youngster Innocent Nshuti will get the chance to impress at the senior international level alongside Police FC striker Justin Mico and AS Kigali’s Mubumbyi Barnabe.

In the midfield, Hey will rely on APR’s in-form star Djihad Bizimana, Rayon Sports’ Olivier Niyonzima and AS Kigali’s new signing Dominique Savio Nshuti.

The last time Rwanda played against Tanzania was during the 2015 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup staged in Ethiopia, a game that Amavubi lost 1-2.

The winners between Rwanda and Tanzania will face either Uganda or South Sudan in the third and final qualification round due next month.

The second round winners will meet in the third round where only eventual winners will qualify to represent the Central and East Zone, alongside hosts Kenya.

The CHAN tournament, which is reserved for players who feature in their respective domestic leagues across Africa, will be staged from January 11 to February 2, 2018.