Phil Jackson, a former NBA professional player and the current coach of Los Angeles Lakers, once said that; “Approach the game with no preset agendas and you will probably come away surprised at your overall efforts”.
With due respect I agree to disagree with the old man who boasts of a breathtaking record of lifting 10 NBA titles as a coach, surpassing a record he had shared with Red Auerbach.
Why? I intend to say that such an attitude cannot be applicable in the Amavubi’s situation up against Zambia’s Chopolopolo in a do or die Africa Cup of Nations qualifier next month at Amahoro National Stadium.
We are bound to have a well set agenda in pursuit of coming out with an emphatic win of a three-goal deference.
Earning a second qualification to the African biennial soccer feast is very much possible.
Save for the European soccer, home advantage still counts in the African soccer for many reasons. One major factor a hosting team will always have a more super crowd. Rwanda holds an advantage and a cut above Zambia.
Rwanda is not a debutant in such a situation. The similar state of affairs was in 2003 when Rwanda needed to beat the four-time African champions, Ghana’s Black stars.
There were intensive preparations on and off pitch. Much attention was paid to every single detail on and off pitch.
Tremendous euphoria and hype, ingredients strange in our reserved culture, was at least fabricated to live that day.
The D-Day came, all was set, the game kicked off, and Jimmy Gatete nodded in a beauty on the stroke of 51st minute to spur Rwanda to a 1-0 victory and maiden qualification to 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunis. Yes we can!
In order for Rwanda to qualify to Tunis, there was a lot of commitment from the office of the president to the fans. President Paul Kagame held a couple of meetings with the players, delivered inspirational remarks which contributed to the players ‘spirit.
It really paid off. It’s again needed to sharpen our strategy to floor the Chipolopolo and send hitherto stunning news to the world.
How beating Ghana is made simple! In a bid to seal the match with a 3-goal difference, the team should employ a thorough attacking game with constant sharp shooting on goal mouth.
There is nothing that a good defense can beat a better offense. In other words a good offense wins.
This is much comparable to a war where offensive weapons are developed first, and it always takes time for defense to catch up. Some people believe that football is a matter of life and death…., it is much, much more important than that.
Amavubi players should adopt the simple rules of soccer, which is basically: If the ball moves, kick it. If it does not move, kick it until it does. The ball is faster than you.
Keeping an offensive attitude will see our team cruise past Chipopolo whose coach Herve Renard has already predicted a win in Kigali.
Even if the struggling Harve with a big number of losses for the Zambian side under his tutelage still exudes an aura of confidence, there is a possibility of having him dazed.
The wasps should combine both sleeky and physical approach in the game, and avoid intimidation of the Zambians who are expected to play their hearts out. Football is all very well a game for rough girls, but not for delicate boys.
Something else that is very important that I should have actually mentioned before is a about the goal keeper. The goalkeeper is the jewel in the crown and getting at him should be almost impossible. It’s the biggest sin in football to make him do any work.
Last but not least, the fans should not go the stadium to emulate the fans of tennis and golf. They should cheer the team all through.
They should shout their voices hoarse. It is important. Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football.
Prediction: Rwanda 4-1 Zambia. Yes we can!