Hey ‘satisfied’ with Amavubi preps ahead of CHAN finals

Rwanda national football team head coach Antoine Hey has said that he is satisfied with the team’s progress following a 1-all draw against Namibia in a pre-2018 CHAN finals warm-up match played on Sunday at Jemmal Stadium in Monastir, Tunisia.
Striker Barnabe Mubumbyi (L) started the match against Namibia before being replaced in the seond half by Justin Mico. / Courtesy
Striker Barnabe Mubumbyi (L) started the match against Namibia before being replaced in the seond half by Justin Mico. / Courtesy

Friendly matches

Wednesday
Algeria Vs Rwanda 3pm (Tunis)

Sunday
Namibia 1-1 Rwanda

Rwanda national football team head coach Antoine Hey has said that he is satisfied with the team’s progress following a 1-all draw against Namibia in a pre-2018 CHAN finals warm-up match played on Sunday at Jemmal Stadium in Monastir, Tunisia.

The ten-man Amavubi side was forced to a draw by a team that is are preparing to make their debut at the African Nations Championships finals tournament.

The game was played a day after the first friendly match against another fellow CHAN finalists, Sudan, was abandoned. The Sudan game was stopped in the 40th minute when still goalless following a fight involving players from both teams earlier on Saturday.

Against Namibia, Hey’s team took the lead in the 45th minute courtesy of attacking midfielder Dominique Savio Nshuti after connecting well with Innocent Nshuti’s set-piece.

Namibia equalised through substitute striker Itamunua Keimune after a defensive lapse in the 57th minute that saw Keimune easily place the ball past goalkeeper, Marcel Nzarora.

Five minutes later, Rwanda were reduced to ten players after stand-in captain Amran Nshimiyimana was sent off following a second bookable offence.

After the game, Hey said, “Drawing 1-1 is a positive result. Some of our players had not played so many matches before, so it was a good game for them. I am satisfied with the result and the match in general.”

“I am very happy with the performance of Herve Rugwiro and Amran Nshimiyimana today and all in all it was a good game in terms of our preparations ahead of CHAN.  Things are going according to our plan and we’re looking forward to the tournament,” he noted.

The German tactician confirmed that his team will have two more training sessions on Monday and Tuesday before facing Algeria in the final warm-up match on Wednesday in Tunis.

Amavubi’s first clear scoring opportunity came in the 25th minute when right-back Fitina Omborenga forced a fine save from Namibia goalie Loyot Kazapua.

Six minutes later, midfielder Muhadjiri Hakizimana had his free-kick from the edge of the box, punched over the cross bar by Kazapua.

Namibia’s better chances came in the 7th and 40th minutes through striker Absalom Imbondi, who forced superb saves from Nzarora.

Striker Barnabe Mubumbyi struck a header in the 43rd minute, which was punched away by Kazapua and a minute later Namibia’s Hendrick Somaeb unleashed a strong shot from the edge of the box but his attempt flew just over the cross bar.

Hey, who is using the warm-up matches to give his entire squad playing time, replaced injured Nshuti with midfielder Yannick Mukunzi, striker Justin Mico for Mubumbyi and center-back Manzi Thierry replaced Hakizimana.

In the 67th minute, a minute after coming on, Mico got a good chance to snatch what would be the winner after beating two Namibian defenders, but his shot went inches over the crossbar.

The game was part of both preparations of the upcoming 2018 African Nations Championships, which begun on January 13 in Casablanca, Morocco.

Amavubi will conclude the ten-day training camp in Tunisia on Wednesday with a match against Algeria in Tunis before heading to Morocco where they will face Libya, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in Group C in Tanger.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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