2012 Nations’ Cup qualifier
Kick off 3pm
Rwanda vs Burundi
Cote d’Ivoire v Benin
AFTER a disappointing start to the 2012 Africa Nations’ Cup campaign, Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars are seeking to grab their maiden win in Group H when they host Burundi this afternoon at Nyamirambo stadium.
Sellas Tetteh’s team is playing their third Group H qualifier. The team has lost to Ivory Coast and Benin, which is why, according to head coach Tetteh, today’s game against the Burundians is a do or die.
The Ghanaian international coach said there is no option other than victory in today’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against old foes Burundi.
“We are well prepared and looking forward to getting our first win victory under the belt. We have been working hard for what is a very important game, and we believe by God’s grace, we will get a win.
“It is a local derby and players are looking forward to delivering their best. We need to win this game to get back in the race to qualify for the finals,” explained the under-fire Ghanaian tactician.
Amavubi lose Mutunzi to calf injury
However, the Fifa U-20 World Cup winner will be without defender Clement Mutunzi, who succumbed to a calf injury in Thursday’s training session at Nyamirambo stadium.
The injury is a major blow to the Police Fc fullback, who had just recovered from a bout of malaria. In his absence, Eric Gasana (Mbuyu Twite), usually a centre-back, will switch to the right back with Musanze’s Adolphe Hakundukize playing in front of him.
Azam defender Patrick Mafisango, who makes his first appearance in this qualifying campaign, will partner his former APR teammate Ismail Nshutiyamagara at the heart of defence.
Team captain Haruna Niyonzima said, “We have been working very hard to get ready for Saturday. Everything is going on well and we are looking forward to the game.”
Burundi here to win
Opponents, Burundi trained at Nyamirambo stadium under Algerian-born tactician Adel Amrouche with a strong team that includes seven professionals.
Amrouche said yesterday upon arrival, “Burundi is here to win. It is going to be a tough game. We want a win but a draw would do us proudgood.”
Burundi heads into the tie with a point from their opening two qualifiers. After losing to Ivory Coast (0-1) in their opening qualifier, they claimed a valuable point after holding Benin to a 1-all draw in Porto-Novo.
Group H action continues tomorrow when Ivory Coast plays Benin in Ghana. The match was pushed to Accra instead of Abidjan because of the political violence in the country.
Ivory Coast leads Group H with maximum six points; Benin is second with four, Burundi sits on third spot with one point while Rwanda is bottom of the standings with no point.
Probable starting team
Rwanda: Jean Luc Ndayishimiye, Eric Gasana, Patrick Mafisango, Ismail Nshutiyamagara, Donatien Tuyizere, Haruna Niyonzima, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza, Adolphe Hakundukiza, Jean Claude Iranzi, Elias Uzamukunda, Jacque Tuyisenge.