Egypt coach hails Rwanda’s progress

After seeing his team beat hosts Rwanda 3-0 in the first game of the Sub-zone World Cup qualifiers on Thursday evening, Egypt head coach, Hassan Elhossaly hailed the progress of Rwandan volleyball.
Rwanda's national team before the start of Thursday's match against the African champions, Egypt. Saturday Sport / Courtsey.
Rwanda's national team before the start of Thursday's match against the African champions, Egypt. Saturday Sport / Courtsey.

Sub-zone World Cup qualifiers Group I
Rwanda   0-3    Egypt

After seeing his team beat hosts Rwanda 3-0 in the first game of the Sub-zone World Cup qualifiers on Thursday evening, Egypt head coach, Hassan Elhossaly hailed the progress of Rwandan volleyball.

“Rwanda has developed their game, and I think everyone has seen it, they have good players, with good coaches and they are real fighters, which is good in volleyball.

What they need is to continue to play many international games which will help them to get on a high level on the continent,” the African defending champion’s coach told this paper after the game.

He added, “Rwandan players have the potential of playing at the highest level. I did not think that Rwanda would prove so hard to beat, before I thought, it would be easy for us but after what I have seen from this game, I have changed my view of Rwandan volleyball.”

Rwanda started well, and everyone at Amahoro Indoor Stadium thought the hosts were in for a kill but Egypt hit back to 25-23, 28-26 and 30-28.

In first set Rwanda led 7-5, 10-7, before Egypt took over with 15-13, 20-17, 22-21, 24-23 and 25-23, in the second set, Rwanda again led 7-5, 10-7 15-14, 18-17, 22-10, 23-22 before Egypt took over and led with 24-23, 25-24, 26-25 and eventually won 28-26.

In the third set, Rwandan players looked as if they want to win at least a set but Egypt took the lead 7-4,10-7 before Rwanda caught up and led with 21-10, 14-12, 15-14, 17-15, 19-17, 20-19, 21-20, 22-21, 23-22, 24-23, before Egypt surged ahead 25-24, 26-25, 27-26, 28-27, 29-27, 29-28 and won the set 30-28.

Rwandan head coach Paul Bitok said, “We are disappointed because we almost did it but the lack of experience in big matches affected our our overall performance.”

The absence of Ethiopia and Sudan means that Rwanda, despite the defeat, still qualifies for the next round, which will be held in Rwanda in November.

Rwanda will be looking to make the most of home advantage when they host Zone V Championships where they will be eying qualification to the third and final round.

The top three teams in Pool ‘H’ which is made up of Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda will join the duo (Rwanda and Egypt) in the November tournament.

The top two teams will qualify to the final round which will determine Africa’s representatives to the World Championships in Poland.

Egypt, Cameroon and Tunisia are through to the final round where twelve teams will be divided into three pools in January and February 2014, where the leader of each pool will qualify to the 2014 World Championships due to be held in Poland.

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