Amavubi pair key in Nouakchott

2010 FIFA/CAN Qualifier September 6 Mauritania   v   Rwanda
TEAM LEADER: Olivier Karekezi (L) and BACK: Henri Munyaneza.
TEAM LEADER: Olivier Karekezi (L) and BACK: Henri Munyaneza.

2010 FIFA/CAN Qualifier

September 6

Mauritania   v   Rwanda

Rwanda will greatly be banking on Olivier Karekezi and Henri Munyaneza in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Mauritania in Nouakchott.

Karekezi (Ham Kam) and Munyaneza (Germinal Beerschot) who have been having a tight schedule in their respective leagues boast of great experience.

The pair is likely to lead Rwanda’s attack ahead of Abedi Makasi who seems to be suffering a slump in form.

More still, Cyprus based defender Hamad Ndikumana has tasted little of the league action since his return to Omonio Fc in early July.

Keeping in mind how the Amavubi Stars have been performing in their training sessions over the past two weeks, both Karekezi and Munyaneza could be the talents that will deliver Rwanda into the next stage of the qualifiers come Saturday when they take on Mauritania.

With no league action, Amavubi players were below par in their training sessions compared to most of the training sessions held in June where the Stars managed to record three victories.

Rwanda plays the crucial away World Cup qualifier this weekend where any result short of a win by the Amavubi Stars can halt the team’s progress putting Ethiopia’s six points in mind.

With only four days of training in Nouakchott, the burden is not only on coach Tucak Blanko to line up his best side but players too are expected to deliver part of the bargain to ensure a positive result.

Karekezi, Munyaneza as well as Ndikumana will be keeping the team’s hopes thanks to their proven field qualities and thirst for victory will be able to motivate the Amavubi Stars to victory if the trio manage to link up with the team.

But for Munyaneza much is there to be seen as he comes out of the two year self imposed national team exile. He last competed for the national team during the ill-fated 2006 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia under Michael Nees.    

With influential striker Bokota Labama Kamana out of the squad, Munyaneza, Bobo Bola and Abedi will be shouldering the burden finding the net for the national team.

Rwanda trounced Mauritania 3-1 in the first leg of the 2010 World/Africa Cup qualifiers held in Kigali in May and a repeat would boost the country’s chances of reaching the third round.

Despite being on level points (nine) with group leaders Morocco, Rwanda is second following Morocco’s superior goal difference.

Morocco’s Atlas Lions have scored ten goals, two more than the Amavubi Stars.

Twenty countries will qualify for the third round of the competition with the group winners in the 12 groups qualifying automatically.

Eight best runners-up will join the 12 group winners for the third round, which will have a total of 20 teams. The following system will be adopted to fairly rank teams placed second in groups of four or three.

Group 8

Team       MP   W   D   L  Pts

Morocco     4    3   0   1    9
Rwanda      4     3   0    1    9
Ethiopia      4    2   0   2    6
Mauritania   4    0   0   4    0