Amavubi stars seek to rediscover winning touch

National team captain Haruna Niyonzima has said that the Amavubi will settle for nothing less than a win against Libya in the first leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup second round qualifier on Friday at Stade Olympique de Sousse in Tunisia.
Amavubi coach McKinstry (R) talks to his players during a training session in Sousse on Tuesday. (Courtsey)
Amavubi coach McKinstry (R) talks to his players during a training session in Sousse on Tuesday. (Courtsey)

First leg

Friday

Libya vs Rwanda

National team captain Haruna Niyonzima has said that the Amavubi will settle for nothing less than a win against Libya in the first leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup second round qualifier on Friday at Stade Olympique de Sousse in Tunisia.

Johnny McKinstry’s team will go into the match looking for a win after four consecutive losses against Ghana in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (1-0), Gabon (1-0) and Burkina Faso CHAN team (0-1) as well as against Tunisia U-23 Olympic team 1-0.

“We have to win this game because we are capable. Libya are a very good team but we have beaten them before and we believe we can beat them again. The team is ready to give the best in both matches and reach the group stage.

“Last year, we drew (0-0) with them in the first leg and beat them (3-0) in the return leg at home but we just can’t rely on those results and hope that things will fall in place for us, we have to follow the instructions of the coach to stick to the game-plan,” Niyonzima told Times Sport from Sousse.

Amavubi have been training in Sousse since Monday at Kantawi club. The second leg is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17 at Kigali Regional Stadium where Rwanda has an excellent record aganst visiting teams.

Rwanda, under former coach Stephen Constantine, thrashed Libya 3-0 in May last year at the same ground, courtesy of Daddy Birori’s hat-trick.

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 leg.

Friday’s game will be handled by Senegalese referee Deidhoius Malang, who will be assisted by his compatriots Djibril Camare (first assistant) and Samba El Hadji Malick (second assistant) while Kane Falou Galasse is the fourth official.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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