2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
Libya vs Rwanda, November 13
Rwanda vs Libya, November 17
Rwanda will face Libya on November 13 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup CAF second round qualifier at the Taieb Mhiri Stadium in Sfax, Tunisia.
Amavubi who got a bye in the first round of qualification will then host the Mediterranean Knights on November 17 in Kigali at the Amahoro Stadium.
Amavubi will head to Tunisia on November 8 to adapt to the weather conditions in the North African country with the forecast predicting thunderstorms on match day but the average local weather is 23°C.
Amavubi head coach Johnny McKinstry said, “It is always good to get used to the surroundings. Little things like that are important because they prepare the team.”
He further added that it is important to head to Tunisia early enough to avoid the fatigue that comes with travelling for long hours.
“There is no shortcut to North Africa. The journey is long and tiring so we want to go early enough. We leave on Sunday morning on the Turkish Airlines flight and should get to Tunisia on Sunday lunch time and then a three-hour drive to Sfax so we should be ready to train on Monday morning,” explained McKinstry.
The last time Rwanda faced Libya was last year in May in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers. Both sides settled for a goalless draw in Tunisia but Amavubi stunned Libya 3-0 in Kigali courtesy of a Dady Birori hat-trick. McKinstry is keen on replicating this performance for a place in the second round of qualification.
The 20 winners from the second round will be divided into five groups of four teams and each group winner will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The draw will be done after the second round.
McKinstry said that the 23-man squad will be named on November 2 and will comprise of the foreign-based players including captain Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga, Tanzania), Quentin Rushenguziminega (Lausanne Sport), Salomon Nirisarike (St Truiden), Abouba Sibomana (Gor Mahia) and Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (Azam).
McKinstry revealed that Emery Bayisenge, who has been training with APR after a failed move to Austrian club Linz Lask will be considered for selection for the game against Libya.
Meanwhile, Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) competitions department has brought forward three fixtures to allow the national team players enough time to prepare for their trip to Tunisia.
The Espoir versus Mukura fixture on November 8 in Rusizi will be played onNovember 6 while the game between Mukura and SC Kiyovu will be played on November 3 at Kicukiro Stadium. Rwamagana and Rayon Sports face off on October 31 at Rwamagana Police Pitch, according to the new fixtures.