THERE are no certainties in football. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson once said that football can sometimes bite you in the back when you least expect it.
When Amavubi thrashed Burundi 3-1 in the first leg of the 2012 Africa Nations’ Cup qualifier in Kigali, it seemed like a double was on the cards.
And after it emerged that Tetteh would reinforce the squad with the experienced trio of Kalisa Mao, Bokota Labama and Olivier Karekezi for the return leg, the fans could not wait to travel to Bujumbura.
I was not any different. If Rwanda would defeat the Swallows without their goal-machine Bokota, versatile defender Mao and the creative Karekezi, what would happen with all the three in the mix?
In thinking that Amavubi had become stronger, we forgot that Burundi had dominated proceedings even though the score-line proved otherwise.
Withstanding their low Fifa ranking (27 places behind Rwanda), the Swallows have abundant raw talent and play the most attractive football in the region.
In their opening qualifiers, they held Benin to a 1-1 draw in Porto-Novo before narrowly losing out to a star-studded Ivory Coast side 1-0.
The elephants had the likes of Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou and Didier Zokora among others in their ranks.
So despite Rwanda’s first leg victory, it was always going to be a tall order to win in Bujumbura.
First of all, the wasps’ preparations had a few glitches.
Influential right back Eric Gasana threatened not to report to camp citing personal problems yet the real reason was unpaid bonuses for the first leg win. (Players received their bonuses two days before the game).
Tetteh’s decision to call up more pros meant that the team and winning formula would be distorted and that’s exactly what happened with Amavubi captain Haruna Niyonzima and defender Ismail Nshutiyamagara having to drop to the bench.
But Tetteh can be vindicated on that move because the pair looked short of form in the build-up to the qualifier.
In the build-up to the match, statistics clearly favoured Rwanda but that was all blown out of the window as the wasps were rendered stingless at Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium.
Bakame (Jean Luc Ndayishimiye), Jacques Tuyisenge, Bokota, Mao and debutant Hussein Sibomana are the only players who deserve special mention for their input.
Sibomana, who plays for Kiyovu was outstanding in his holding role and is likely to keep his spot in the remaining qualifiers.
Does Rwanda still have a chance?
For Rwanda to qualify, they need to beat Ivory Coast and Benin, and also pray that Ivory Coast, Burundi and Benin draw or lose their games.
What will happen to Sellas Tetteh?
He came to Rwanda as a World Cup winner with the Ghana U-20 team. In fact, he is the only African coach to win a World Cup.
It was the first time that Tetteh was coaching a senior national side and despite his colorful C.V, it was always going to be a difficult challenge.
The Ghanaian has 12 months left on his two-year contract and despite pocketing $15000 (Rwf8.8m) a month, he pales to his predecessor Tucak Branko who was reportedly getting a cool 22000 Euros (Rwf19m)
The 55-year-old was tasked to qualify Rwanda for CAN, guide the U-23 side to the Olympic Games in London, win the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup and put in a good display in CHAN.
It is very unlikely that the Ghanaian will achieve any of the above targets so the big question is ‘is he the ideal man for the coach?’ If yes, where did things go wrong?