Rwanda draws Egypt, Algeria and Zambia in 2010 World Cup draws
The national football team, the Amavubi Stars will have their hands full in the final qualification round for the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations after the final qualification draw that was held in Zurich yesterday.
Rwanda is drawn against Africa reigning champions Egypt as well as 1990 continental champions Algeria and Zambia in Group C of the qualifiers, which kick off next year.
Egypt are considered as group favourites, Zambia are the unpredictable but familiar opponents, having several clashed in the Cecafa challenge cup matches.
Algeria is considered as second best team in the group after Egypt basing on their continental history.
Algeria is not unfamiliar opponents having met during the 2006 world /Africa cup qualifiers.
Egyptian striker Amr Zaki told Fifa website before the draw that he is not worried by any of the teams in the draw.
“Egypt are very optimistic they can make it to the World Cup because we have already proven capable of overcoming any team in Africa,” the Wigan striker said.
“During two successive Nations Cup triumphs we beat the likes of Ivory Coast and Cameroon so our supporters will not tolerate failure to reach the finals this time.”
Although the Pharaohs have won the Nations Cup a record six times, they have only qualified for the World Cup twice and the last time was 18 years ago.
The 20 survivors from the second round, which claimed notable casualties like Angola, DR Congo, Senegal and South Africa, was split into five groups.
Each country plays its three rivals home and away with group winners going to the 2010 World Cup with hosts South Africa and the top three in each group joining hosts Angola at the Nations Cup earlier that year.
The first games of the final phase will be played in March. In the qualifiers, Group A serves the most intriguing menu with Cameroon who failed to make it at the last world cup, drawn to play 2006 World Cup finalists Togo, Morocco and outsiders Gabon.
Nigeria were drawn in Group B with their bitter rivals Tunisia, Kenya and Mozambique. The Eagles finished the second round of the qualification, which also serves for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, as the only team that did not drop a point.
They also only conceded a goal after six matches. Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany after they were ousted by unfancied Angola.
They also crashed out at the quarter-finals of the 2008 Nations Cup in Ghana leading to the resignation of German coach Berti Vogts, who was later a Rwanda target.
2006 World Cup finalists Ivory Coast will meet Guinea, Burkina Faso and Malawi in group E while fellow Ghana square it out in Group D with the likes of Mali, Benin and Sudan.
The 20 African nations remaining were drawn into five groups of four teams each. Hosts South Africa qualify for the World Cup automatically, but were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the first group stage of qualifying.
At the draw Rwanda was represented by Ferwafa’s president Brig. Gen John Bosco Kazura and national team coach Branko Tucak.
Nigeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana were the top seeds in the draw.Full draw: