As Rwanda takes on Burkina Faso in final
Burkina Faso vs Rwanda (3.30pm- SS9, RTV)
Third-place playoff-Kigali Regional Stadium
Ivory Coast 1-2 Congo Brazzaville
OVER the years, football stats have proved that it is very rare to beat a team twice in the same competition so junior wasps head coach Richard Tardy will have that in mind when he sends out his youngsters for today’s 2011 Caf U-17 Championship final against Burkina Faso at Amahoro Stadium.
The afternoon contest is a repeat of the tournament’s opening fixture were Rwanda emerged 2-1 winners but Tardy has constantly warned his players not to dwell so much into the group result insisting that the West Africans have improved vastly since.
“This is a very different game and there is a lot at stake for both teams. We beat Burkina Faso at the group stage but still finished second behind them in the group,” he noted adding that, “They have grown from strength to strength since then and we all saw that during their final group game against Egypt were they came out 4-0 winners.”
After seeing off a defiant Ivory Coast side in Wednesday’s hotly contested semi-final, Tardy is convinced his team will keep that sequence going.
With Emery Bayisenge still a serious doubt for the clash following a nagging ankle injury, Tardy is expected to stick to the same side that battled out Ivory Coast.
This means that Heritier Turatsinze will partner Faustin Usengimana in central defense.
“Unless Emery makes a miraculous recovery, I intend to stick to the same side which played against Ivory Coast,” Tardy continued.
The Burkinabe reached their competition third final after beating Congo Brazzaville 4-2 on penalties in Tuesday’s semi-final and are desperate to end their long wait after two failed attempts.
In 1999, they lost out to Ghana before going down to Nigeria two years later but their Portuguese coach Rui Vieira is positive the side can end their long wait.
He said, “We didn’t want to face Rwanda because they will have the whole nation behind them but we have prepared well for the game and are confident we can win.”
Whatever the outcome of today’s contest, the event will have a new champion.