EVEN the staunchest fans will not be raising their hope for a win against Ivory Coast today at Amahoro national stadium.Rwanda’s opponents in this afternoon’s dead rubber match (Ivory Coast has already qualified, while Rwanda is out) are as ruthless in attack as they are solid in defense.
The disparity between the two teams can be summed up in last month’s Fifa rankings which place Ivory Coast top of the continent and Rwanda in 36 places below.
Although the Elephants are without their inspirational captain Didier Drogba, players like Kolo Toure in defense his brother Yaya Toure (both Manchester City) anchoring the midfield and Arsenal’s Gervinho in attack, Sellas Tetteh’s team will hand their hands full this afternoon.
After signing a two year deal to coach the national side, Tetteh, who is the only African coach to have won the FIfa World Cup, albeit at the youth level, told media that this was a difficult challenge but which he was eager to take on.
And difficult the task has been. The Ghanaian’s record stands at 15 matches, 2 wins, three draws and 10 losses.
Amavubi will be without key players either through suspensions, snubbing national team call or personal problems. Players like defender Mbuyu Twite, left back Abouba Sibomana, midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and Elias Uzamukunda are all out.
But today’s match is not just about getting a descent result against the powerful west African side but trying to build a team for the 2014 Fifa Worldc qualifiers that kick off in November. Rwanda starts with Eritrea.
Sellas Tetteh has already included U-17 world cup players Andrew Buteera, Emery Bayisenge and Charles Tibingana who represent the future of the national team.
The National team now has a mixture of youth and experience, which bodes well for future.
Whatever the result this afternoon, Amavubi is a team in building and since Tetteh has a recording of building teams to win trophies, he deserves a chance.