Monday; Group C
Nigeria Vs Rwanda
Rwanda 1-4 Algeria
Despite the 4-1 defeat against Algeria in the last warm-up match on Wednesday in Tunis, Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey insists that his team is ready and ‘can’t wait’ for 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) finals Group C opener against Nigeria.
The 2018 CHAN finals tournament is scheduled to run from January 13 to February 4 in Morocco.
Rwanda will face Nigeria in their first group match on Monday, January 15 in Tangier before taking on Equatorial Guinea on January 19 and will conclude the group stage against Libya on January 23.
Rwanda concluded a ten-day pre-CHAN training camp in Tunisia with a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Algeria in a friendly match played at El Menzeh Stadium.
After the match Hey said, “We lost 4-1 unfortunately. The result doesn’t reflect the run of the game. We created a lot of chances that we could have converted.”
“We made some defending mistakes that cost us, we have learnt our lesson, it is a warning shot and I hope the players have heard it, but the good thing, there are no injuries and all players are still available and fit for Monday,” he noted.
The German added that, “Friendly matches don’t count for anything at this moment in time, it’s the Monday match against Nigeria that we are focused on and this is when it counts, this is when we need to be ready and definitely we will be ready.”
“Everybody is a little bit disappointed because of the result against Algeria, but not because of the match, and now we are looking forward to the game against Nigeria, we can’t wait to start our campaign,” stated Hey.
Algeria, who did not qualify for CHAN finals in Morocco, scored the opener in the 10th minute through Farouk Chafai header off a corner by Beoussa Mokhtar.
In the 16th minute, Amavubi forward Abeddy Biramahire had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for offside.
But six minutes later, Abid Mohamed Lamine headed in a cross, beating goalie Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye from close range. Chafai made it 3-0 in the 29th minute after skipping past the Rwandan defence to shoot past Ndayishimiye as the Fennecs threatened to run riot.
Striker Bernabe Mubumbyi, who came on for Biramahire in the second half, pulled one back for Rwanda in the 79th minute but Bouguelmouna El Habib restored Algeria’s three-goal lead with a superb strike five minutes to full time.
In the second half, Amavubi coach Antoine Hey made four substitutions, bringing on Dominique Savio Nshuti for Mico, Faustin Usengimana for Thierry Manzi, Ally Niyonzima for Amran Nshimiyimana and Fitina Omborenga for Eric Iradukunda.
Despite the heavy defeat, Amavubi displayed an improved second half, which they dominated, creating several scoring chances but they could not convert them.
During the ten-day camp held in Tunisia, Rwanda played against Sudan (40 minutes) in a goalless draw before the game was stopped by the referee after a fist fight broke out between both sets of players in Sousse on Saturday. The team also drew 1-1 with Namibia on Sunday.
In a related development, Rwanda’s Group C opponents Libya lost 1-2 to Burkina Faso in another pre-CHAN friendly on Wednesday in Tunis. Rwanda left Tunis for Tangier, Morocco on Thursday aboard Air Morocco.