2014 CHAN Qualifiers
Tanzania vs. Uganda
Ethiopia vs. Rwanda
THE national football team, Amavubi, heads to Addis Ababa ahead of the 2014 Africa Nations Championship [CHAN] final qualifier, first leg match against Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia scheduled for Sunday.
The Wasps depart this afternoon aboard Ethiopian Airways at 3pm after a four-day camp in Gicumbi district, Northern Province but head coach Eric Nshimiyimana is wary of the home side’s threat.
The former Amavubi skipper told Times Sport yesterday that Ethiopia are a powerhouse in the region after playing consistent and top quality football for the last two years, thus getting any positive result would require strong will and determination.
Amavubi departs with a side comprised of old guards who have gained experience in the past World Cup qualifiers as well as a few faces that will be making their maiden appearance in the championship.
Nshimiyimana is expected to field almost the same team that forced Mali to a 1-all draw in Bamako during a 2014 World Cup qualifier with the exception of Salomon Nirisarike [FC Antweerp], Olivier Karekezi [AC Bizertin] and Haruna Niyonzima [Yanga].
“We don’t expect any easy outing on Ethiopian soil. It’s a tough match for us because of Ethiopia’s pedigree. They have been together for a while, took part in Nations Cup final this year and thus have an upper hand.”
“But we are not also heading to Addis for an adventure. We missed out on Nations’ Cup and the 2014 World Cup but there is hope of qualifying for South Africa next year.”
“We want a win in the weekend’s game and our approach will be basically aimed at defending well and aiming for the goal before hosting the return leg,” added Nshimiyimana.
Nshimiyimana also needs to win the Ethiopia tie to improve the country’s FIFA rankings. Rwanda is still the lowest ranked country in the region.
The national team, now ranked 135th, has to put up a brave performance if they are to eliminate the Ethiopians who are placed 95th in the latest Fifa world rankings.
Ethiopia are on the verge of qualifying to the play-off stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. They are still favourites to top the group as they visit Central African Republic in their final game on September 6 while South Africa host Botswana the same day.
Tanzania will face Uganda on Saturday in the other CHAN game in the region, while Burundi drew 1-1 last week against Sudan in the qualifiers.
The winners will automatically qualify for the 2014 CHAN tournament to be hosted by South Africa.
Nshimiyimana wary of Ethiopia jinx
2014 CHAN Qualifiers