Interim Amavubi head coach Jimmy Mulisa has axed five players from the team that will face Ghana in a Group H Africa Nations’ qualifier scheduled on September 3 at the Accra Sports Stadium in the West African country.
Mulisa has trimmed the team to 24 players and is expected to further drop six others on Wednesday, leaving a squad of 18 players.
The national team is due to travel to Ghana on Thursday.
Among those dropped include Mukura forward Yussuf Habimana, APR winger Fiston Nkezingabo, AS Kigali defender Eric Iradukunda, APR central defender, Aimable Nsabimana, and SC Kiyovu goalkeeper Bonheur Hategekimana.
Foreign-based players who joined the team for the Ghana tie include the Tanzania-based duo of Amavubi captain Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga) and Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (Azam FC), as well as Kenya’s Gor Mahia striker Jacques Tuyisenge and Ernest Sugira (AS Vita Club, DR Congo).
“From our training sessions, it’s clear that we have a good team that’s ready to take on Ghana; we are confident in the squad that we have,” said the former Amavubi forward.
Despite being knocked out of contention for a place in 2017 Africa Nations’ Cup final due in Gabon, Rwanda will be aiming for a win against hosts Ghana for pride as well as badly needed improvement in FIFA rankings. Amavubi are ranked 121st in the latest release.
Rwanda blew their chances to book a ticket to Afcon 2017 in Gabon for the second time when they lost 1-0 to Mauritius in Belle Vue in March before succumbing to another 3-2 loss to Mozambique in Kigali in June.
The Black Stars are leading Group H with 13 points, having already booked a place to the Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in January 2017 in Gabon.
Ghana lead the group with 13 points, with Rwanda in second with 6 points, while Mozambique sit bottom with four points. The Mozambicans will host Mauritius in Maputo on September, 3.