How Amavubi players rated against Zambia
Amavubi Stars next qualifier away to Egypt on July 5 will determine whether by the time of the return matches they will still be in contention to finish in the first three teams in their group.
Defeat in Cairo or Alexandria will leave Rwanda bottom of the table with just a point out of a possible nine and a mountain to climb in the race for qualification for either the World Cup or Nations Cup.
Times Sport’s team cast a discerning eye over Rwanda’s performers in the 1-0 defeat against Zambia.
Jean Claude Ndoli - 8
His only let-down was the goal he conceded thanks largely to poor marking on the side of his defenders. His first half penalty save and the subsequent rebound from Collins Mbesuma in addition to nine more important saves saved the visitors from a real beating.
Aloua Gaseruka - 2
Was awful throughout, playing panicky stuff until he was substituted with nine minutes left. He gave away a cheap penalty in the first half and he was at fault for Zambia’s goal. He was never sure of what he was doing with or without the ball, but should be thankful backup right-back Jean Bosco Uwacu is no different.
Hamad Ndikumana - 7
Did well in the heart of Amavubi defence, made a couple of vital interceptions—sometimes desperate but at least he did his work to stop Zambia’s numerous attacks.
Wish he was still the team captain instead of the current band holder, who seems to have run out of ideas, not to mention forgetting how to play football.
Boubakary Saddou - 5.5
It is difficult to remember him making so much contribution, got booked for dissent, but he did what was required of him.
Patrick Mafisango - 4
Like Saddou, Mafisango never made any meaningful contribution especially in terms of going forward but given the way Tucak Branko set out his team to play, he did his job but with less efficiency.
Mbuyu Twite - 5
The APR captain’s contribution in a five-man midfield was a disappointment. Known for his hard work and long throw-ins, Mbuyu was full of running but less effective with his passing. Even his renowned long throw-ins were nowhere to be seen.
Jean Mugiraneza - 4
Migi was full running but a headless chicken, he didn’t seem to know what he was doing or supposed to do in a congested midfield where he, Mbuyu, Mafisango and at times Elias Ntaganda were always out of position, caught in possession by the opposition and his passing was a disappointment. He was replaced by Albert Ngabo on the 69th minute.
Haruna Niyonzima - 5
What a mixed performance he had. Was Rwanda’s best outfield player in the early exchanges but went missing as the first half grew older.
He was the team’s potential source of clever passing and holding play but never returned after the break as Tucak opted for a more defensive Bonaventure Hategekimana.
The veteran APR defender has played the last two qualifiers in an unfamiliar midfield position, which even to his standards, is asking too much of his ability. He can’t cross the ball whether with his left or right foot.
Olivier Karekezi - 4
The Amavubi skipper did the running all round the field but as a striker; he never had a single shot on goal. Like in the game against Algeria, Karekezi, who’s supposed to be the team leader in terms of performances, was again a major let-down.
He looked less than comfortable when in possession of the ball and kept running towards the corner flag rather than driving in the direction of the opposition penalty area.
Labama Bokota - 4
After a long spell on the sideline with injuries, Bokota’s return to the team as the main striker was a downer. Did not see as much of the ball as he wanted and when he got it, the lack of march fitness and sharpness was in evidence.
Hategekimana - 3
Played the whole second half but did little to persuade Tucak to start him against Egypt. But if the worse comes to the worst, he might start in the place of Gaseruka.
Albert Ngabo - 2
Saidi Abedi - 2
Had little time to make an impact in his nine-minute cameo role.