Morocco friendlies will boost our AFCON preps – Amavubi captain

The two warm-up games against Morocco on Friday and Sunday will ‘greatly’ boost Amavubi’s preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Central African Republic on June 11 in Bangue, the team captain Haruna Niyonzima has said.
Bugesera FC veteran defender Aimable Rucogoza lead his Amavubi teammates during Tuesday morning training session at Amahoro stadium. / Sam Ngendahimana
Bugesera FC veteran defender Aimable Rucogoza lead his Amavubi teammates during Tuesday morning training session at Amahoro stadium. / Sam Ngendahimana

Friday
Rwanda vs Morocco 3:30pm

The two warm-up games against Morocco on Friday and Sunday will ‘greatly’ boost Amavubi’s preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Central African Republic on June 11 in Bangue, the team captain Haruna Niyonzima has said.

 

Rwanda will face Morocco on Friday at Amahoro National Stadium in the first of the two matches to mark the second edition of the annual Genocide memorial football tournament. The second match will be played on Sunday at the same ground.

 

“We don’t have much time left so we need to use the games to put ourselves in the best possible position for the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Central African Republic,” Niyonzima said after attending his first training session on Wednesday.

 

The Young Africans playmaker added that everyone is doing their best to impress the new coach. “Personally, I have just seen him for the first time, but I believe he will help the team to achieve its goals. We have a lot of work to do but, first, we need to do well against Morocco.”

Morocco jetted into the country on Tuesday night, while Amavubi have been in residential camp since Sunday.

The games are being organised by Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) in honour of footballers, coaches, fans, administrators as well as other Rwandans who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Morocco-based central defender Emery Bayisenge was the first professional to link up with the national team in their residential camp at Golden Tulip Hotel in Nyamata. The KAC Kénitra player joined camp on Monday evening.

Kenya’s Gor Mahia FC duo of midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and striker Jacques Tuyisenge as well as Niyonzima arrived in camp on Tuesday.

Belgium-based defender Salomon Nirisarike, who plays for AFC Tubize, joined camp on Wednesday night while the trio of Fitina Omborenga, Jean Claude Iranzi and Rachid Kalisa, who all feature for MFK Topvar Topoľčany in Slovakia, were expected in Kigali on Thursday.

Striker Ernest Sugira will be the last foreign-based player to join his teammates in camp on June 5 after playing in AS Vita Club’s Champions League match against St. George in Addis Ababa.

For the AFCON 2019 qualifiers, Rwanda were drawn in Group H along with Ivory Coast, Guinea and Central African Republic.

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