Amavubi arrive in Uganda ahead of CHAN qualifier


Police FC forward Christophe Biramahire, seen here in a friendly against Sudan on Monday, gets his first call to the senior national team. S. Ngendahimana.

Aug. 12: First leg
Uganda vs Rwanda
Aug. 19: Second leg
Rwanda vs Uganda

Amavubi coach Antoine Hey has named the final 18-man squad for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) third-round qualifier first leg against Uganda which will be played on Saturday at St. Mary’s College Kitende Stadium in Kampala.

The Rwandan delegation arrived in Uganda on Thursday morning and held the first training session at the game venue in the afternoon and will continue to train on Friday.

Hey has dropped three players from the team, including youngsters Innocent Nshuti (APR), Ange Mutsinzi (Rayon Sports) and Saddam Nyandwi (Rayon Sports).

The German coach has added two new faces to the team that eliminated Tanzania in the previous round—they include; goalkeeper Yves Kimenyi (APR FC), who gets his first international call and Police FC left-back Jean Marie Muvandimwe.

Hey will be looking for an away goal and has urged his players to be careful with the second balls which Uganda are so strong at.

“We have players who have been working hard, determined and devoted to ensure that this qualifying match goes well. The mood and spirit in camp is positive,” Hey said.

Amavubi CHAN team captain and goalkeeper Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye, who will miss the first leg, has been included in the squad as Hey will be looking to use him in the second leg next week.

Rwanda beat Sudan 2-1 in a friendly match on Monday at Kigali Stadium, Dominique Savio Nshuti and Bernabe Mubumbyi scored for the home team, while Saifedin Maki netted for Sudan.

On paper, Uganda will go into Saturday’s final as clear favourites. Nonetheless, matches involving the two arch-rivals have been too close to call over the last years. Uganda has won 14 times against ten wins for Rwanda, while seven matches have ended in draws.

The third round winners will represent the East and Central African Zone at next year’s finals tournament, along with the hosts Kenya.

Rwanda is hoping to make their third appearance in Africa’s second biggest international tournament, which is reserved for only players featuring in their respective domestic leagues.

Amavubi squad:

Goalkeepers: Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye, Marcel Nzarora and Yves Kimenyi.

Defenders: Aimable Nsabimana, Aimable Rucogoza, Thierry Manzi, Soter Kayumba, Latif Bishira, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Jean Marie Vianney Muvandimwe and Eric Iradukunda.

Midfielders: Olivier Niyonzima, Yannick Mukunzi, Djihad Bizimana (C), Amran Nshimiyimana and Kevin Muhire.

Forwards: Dominique Savio Nshuti, Barnabe Mubumbyi and Christophe ‘Abeddy’ Biramahire.