2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers
Rwanda vs Burundi
Benin vs Ivory Coast
AMAVUBI captain Haruna Niyonzima believes his team-mates will bounce back from their poor start in the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifying campaign rather than crack under pressure.
Much is now expected of Sellas Tetteh’s squad after Saturday’s 3-0 battering at the hands of Benin.
However, Niyonzima, who had an average day at the office, remains optimistic about the team’s chances.
Speaking to the press after the defeat, the APR winger backed his team-mates to begin the path to redemption with victory against Burundi next year in March.
He said: “The players and the coach realise that we are under pressure at the moment. That’s normal after such a wobbly start.”
“It will really help if we put in a positive performance against Burundi and get the maximum points. Then we can take the confidence from that into the other games.”
“That’s the challenge. It’s very important that we show the fans that we are up to the task.”
“A good positive result will certainly help,” Niyonzima added.
After failing to convert their first half chances, Benin’s squirrels showed them how it’s done with three second half goals.
APR striker Kipson Atuhaire should have scored twice while his striking partner Dady Birori did little to win over the fans despite his endless running.
After the break, Tchomogo Séïdath opened the floodgates with a 30-yard cracker while Omotoyossi Razack and Sessègnon Stephane scored the other goals.
In the other Group H match that pitted Burundi against Ivory Coast in Bujumbura, the West Africans edged it 1-0 courtesy of a 33rd minute free kick from Koffi Romric Ndri.
After two rounds of qualifiers, Rwanda is at the foot of Group H with no points. Ivory Coast top the group with 6 points, Benin are second with 4 points while Burundi is third with one point.