Amavubi turn focus to 2015 Afcon qualifiers

Amavubi Stars returned home on Tuesday with heads down from Porto Novo, Benin where they lost 2-0 in their final 2014 World Cup Group C qualifying match.
Kayiranga and Nshimiyimana were handed the reign after the sacking of Micho. Times Sport/File
Kayiranga and Nshimiyimana were handed the reign after the sacking of Micho. Times Sport/File

Amavubi Stars returned home on Tuesday with heads down from Porto Novo, Benin where they lost 2-0 in their final 2014 World Cup Group C qualifying match.

Speaking to assistant coach Jean-Baptiste Kayiranga cited inexperience as the major factor behind the national team’s failure to end their campaign on a high on Sunday.

He said the technical team’s focus will now turn to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

“We were given the mandate to manage the national team with specific guidelines to look out for young Rwandan players and give them exposure by playing as many international matches as possible and that is exactly what we are doing,” Kayiranga said.

He acknowledged that no one is happy with the way the World Cup campaign has ended “but we believe we were able to assess different young players, which gives us the opportunity to know what we have ahead of the start of the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers.”

“Sometimes I think it’s also good to lose a few games, especially when you’re trying to build a team around young and inexperienced players because it gives both the coaches and players food for thought “It’s during difficult times that you get to know who is good enough to stand up to the challenge and who is not,” explained the assistant coach.

He said that, from now onwards, focus turns to the 2015 Afcon qualifying, “We must devise ways of how we can build a strong national team, prepare it as early as possible and be to register positive results.”

“We have a good young team that needs time to develop together into a strong unit and should be exposed to many competitions in order to gain more experience,” added the former Rayon Sports and Kiyovu SC coach.

Rwanda put up a spirited fight despite going down two goals to hand the West Africans third spot in Group H leaving Rwanda routed at bottom.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, a goal by El Araby Soudani gave Algeria a 1-0 win over Mali in their final World Cup Qualifying group stage match.

The North African side won the group with a match to spare as they now go into preparation for their playoff ties set for October and November.

Algeria finish at the top of their group on 15 points followed by Mali and Benin who are both on eight points apiece with Rwanda rounding off Group H on two points.

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