A pathetic away record must be dealt with at the start of 2010 World/Africa Nations Cup campaign today if the national team is to have any realistic chance of advancing to the finals of the football showcase. Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars attempt to qualify for a first major tournament in eight years.
Rwanda’s rating of 119 in the FIFA rankings ensured that it avoided the burden of playing a lowly side on home and away basis in round one.
Rwanda is drawn against North African giants Morocco as well as Ethiopia and Mauritania in Group Eight of the qualifiers, which kicks off today.
The main test comes when Tucak Blanko takes his troops to Morocco, but apart from the, Ethiopia are familiar opponents, the two having clashed several times in CECAFA challenge cup matches. Mauritania are considered outsiders and should not be a real worry for Rwanda today.
To turn this dream into a reality, a mixture of luck, better preparation and motivation must be at hand and these have in the past proved useful.
To top the group, Amavubi will most certainly have to play much better than they have lately been able to away from home.
To reach Angola 2010 and South Africa 2010, Rwanda would have to play a minimum of 12 games if they advance to the next stage. Six matches apiece would be played in round two and three respectively. At the beginning of this campaign, the team’s administration must weigh the chances of Rwanda reaching the finals. Morocco are the group favorites and discipline and organization under Blanko would present a different challenge to the African giants. That said, Ethiopia should not be underestimated.
Taking a leaf from 2006 World Cup’s two of Africa representatives Togo and Angola, Rwanda should try to play with gusto in addition to fair skill.
With new found goal poacher Bogota and company, the team is capable of surprises and can sure rise to the occasion by clinching the crucial starting victory.