Rwanda national football team (Amavubi) head coach Antoine Hey has named a 19-man squad for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Central African Republic in Bangui on June 11.
As part of the preparations for the first qualifier, Amavubi registered a 3-0 win over Morocco in the second game of the 2017 Genocide Memorial Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Amahoro National Stadium.
This was the second game of the second edition of the annual tournament which followed the first one played on Friday that the hosts won 2-0.
The matches were organised in honour of the footballers, coaches, fans, administrators as well as other Rwandans who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
Rwanda are in Group H for AFCON 2019 along with Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Central African Republic. Amavubi will be looking to qualify for the second time having made its debut in 2004, in Tunisia.
Hey said the two matches have given him a “clear picture” of the players he will pick for next week’s 2019 AFCON qualifier.
“We have got the real picture for the team we will use for the Central African Republic game. We have seen how we want to use the players we have. We are going to assess them further in the next few days,” Hey said after Sunday’s win over an inexperienced Morocco side.
The German tactician, who took charge in early May, added that he was impressed with the overall performance of the players adding that some players will get better the more they play together.
“It is very encouraging, our system is working, our players need to know when we are under pressure but we have got the real picture for the players we need to use in game against Central African Republic,” the former Kenya coach noted.
Hey started Sunday’s game with a different team from the one that started the in the Friday game, which comprised home-based players.
On Sunday, Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye started in goal; Bayisenge, Salomon Nirisarike and Ombalenga in defence; Mugiraneza, Rachid Kalisa, Iranzi, Haruna Niyonzima (captain) and Nshuti were in the midfield while striker Jacques Tuyisenge led the line.
The coach reduced the provisional squad from 25 to 19 players after dropping the likes of Aimable Rucogoza (Bugesera FC), Eric Iradukunda (AS Kigali), Gilbert Mugisha (Pepiniere FC), Justin Mico (AS Kigali), Ally Niyonzima (Mukura VS) and Rashid Kalisa (MFK Topvar Topoľčany, Slovakia).
The 19 players remain in camp until June 8 when the final 18-man team will be named ahead of departure to Bangui the following day.
The 19-man team:
Goalkeepers: Eric Ndayishimiye (Rayon Sports), Olivi Kwizera (Bugesera FC) and Marcel Nzarora (Police FC)
Defenders: Michel Rusheshangoga (APR FC), Emmanuel Imanishimwe (APR FC), Thierry Manzi (Rayon Sports), Emery Bayisenge (KAC Kénitra), Aimab Nsabimana (APR FC) and Salomon Nirisarike (AFC Tubize, Belgium)
Midfielders: Jean Baptist Mugiraneza (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Heruna Niyonzima (Young Africans, Tanzania), Dominique Savio Nshuti (Rayon Sports), Jean Claude Iranzi (MFK Topvar Topoľčany, Slovakia), Fitina Omborenga (MFK Topvar Topoľčany, Slovakia), Djihad Bizimana (APR FC) and Olivier Niyonzima (Rayon Sports)
Forwards: Danny Usengimana (Police FC), Ernest Sugira (AS Vita, DR Congo) and Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia, Kenya).