Ethiopia vs Rwanda
Team captain Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye has challenged his Amavubi teammates to prove their worth and not ruin the chance to qualify for next year’s African Nations Championship, which is set to take place from January 12 to February 4 in Morocco.
Ndayishimiye, who is also captain of Azam Rwanda Premier League champions, Rayon Sports, made the call after the team’s training session on Tuesday at Amahoro National Stadium ahead of the two-legged play-off qualifiers against Ethiopia.
Antoine Hey’s side will take on Ethiopia’s Walia Ibex in the first leg on November 5 before hosting the return leg on November 12 as both nations battle for the 16th place at the finals tournament.
The playoff between the two countries has come after Egypt’s withdraw from participating in the biennial tournament.
Ndayishimiye, one of the most experienced players on the national team, revealed that; “We have to be ready for this tough qualifier against Ethiopia.”
“We have been granted another chance to redeem ourselves following a disappointing final round exit to Uganda in August, so we have to take this opportunity with both hands, and with that, there shouldn’t be room for mistakes,” noted the 26-year-old shot-stopper.
The winner over the two legs will join Uganda and Sudan as representatives of the CECAFA region.
Rwanda missed out on automatic qualification as they lost to Uganda Cranes 2-3 on goal aggregate in August despite winning the home return leg 2-0, while Ethiopia were also knocked out by Sudan 2-1 on aggregate.
If Rwanda qualifies, it would be their third participation at the CHAN finals tournament since its inception in 2009.
Amavubi took part in the 2011 edition held in Sudan, but didn’t advance from the group before hosting the 2016 edition where they reached the quarter-final, losing to eventual winners DR Congo 2-1 in extra-time.
However, DR Congo will not be able to defend their title as they lost the qualification bid to neighbours Congo Brazzaville. Rwanda is scheduled to depart for Ethiopia on Friday.