Buoyant Amavubi out to sting Uganda today


Antoine Hey and his assistant Vincent Mashami will be hoping to a get a positive result in the first leg before hosting the second leg next week. Sam Ngendahimana

Aug. 12: First leg
Uganda                vs            Rwanda                              3:30pm
Aug. 19: Second leg
Rwanda           vs            Uganda

Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey has said his team is in a buoyant mood going into Saturday’s first leg clash against Uganda in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) third leg qualifier at St. Mary’s Kitende Stadium in Kampala.

“The players are looking very sharp and are motivated to get a good result,” Hey said after Friday’s morning training session at the match venue, located about 35km from the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

The 19-man Amavubi squad departed for Kampala on Thursday morning aboard RwandAir. The team is staying at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe.

“We need players to give their best and avoid making unnecessary mistakes. The players did well against Sudan (during the warm-up match on Monday) and I expect them to carry that confidence into tomorrow’s (today) game,” the German tactician added.

However, Hey said he is not taking anything for granted adding that he is expecting a very difficult and hard game.

The German tactician needs a result that gives Amavubi a chance to get into the next round; anything that will turn things in favour of Rwanda.

“Within a short time, you cannot play spectacular football but you can get results in a short term. When Rwanda plays against Uganda, it is different from playing against Kenya or Tanzania, so we need to see what fits in our system and adapt accordingly,” Hey stated.

Observers have billed the game as the match to look out for in the Central-East Zone, while fans from both countries would surely have wished their teams avoided each other until the most advanced stages of the tournament.

“We are not going to play a defensive game. We need to play more in their half,” German explained.

Stakes are high are both sides are desperate to go on and reach the finals tournament, which will be held in Kenya next year. The game is also important for the two tacticians, Hey and his Ugandan counterpart, Moses Basena.

Rwanda goes into today’s game in a confident mood having defeated Sudan 2-1 in a friendly match played on Monday in Kigali.

On the other side, Uganda will be favourites based on the recent match performances that have pitted the two regional rivalries.

The matches involving the two arch-rivals have been too close to call over the last years. Uganda has won 14 times and ten for Rwanda with seven games ending in draws.

The most recent meeting between the two countries was during the 2015 CECAFA Challenge Cup held in Ethiopia where Rwanda lost 0-1 to Uganda in the final.

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.

Striker Bernabe Mubumbyi, celebrates after scoring  against Sudan on Monday. He will lead Amavubi's attack against Uganda today. S. Ngendahimana.