2019 AFCON Qualifiers
Guinea Vs Rwanda
Ivory Coast Vs CAR
Rwanda Vs Guinea
CAR Vs Ivory Coast
RWANDA national football team, Amavubi, left the country for Conakry on Monday afternoon aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight ahead of their AFCON Group H qualifier against Guinea on Friday.
Belgium-based duo of Djihad Bizimana (Waasland-Beveren) and Salomon Nirisarike (AFC Tubize) were expected to link up with their teammates in Conakry today.
“We have put together a good squad, and we believe in them. We are heading to Guinea a bit earlier so we can enhance our preparations ahead of Friday’s game. We will be ready in time,” Vincent Mashami, Amavubi head coach, told Times Sport before their departure yesterday.
The 23-man that traveled to the West African country included six foreign-based players; goalkeeper Olivier Kwizera (Free State Stars, South Africa), Yannick Mukunzi (on trials in Sweden), Meddie Kagere and skipper Haruna Niyonzima (Simba SC, Tanzania) as well as Kenya-based Gor Mahia striker Jacques Tuyisenge.
“Our main ambition is to get all points in Guinea, which will boost our motivation and chances of coming back in the race. We face a tricky side in the group, and they will be at home, but we are determined to put up a strong fight,” Mashami added.
Mashami’s men will play away to Guinea in the first-leg on October 12 before hosting the return-leg at Kigali Stadium four days later.
Accompanied by an 11-member staff, led by Rwanda Football Association’s vice president Marcel Habyarimana, the Amavubi delegation jetted out aboard Ethiopian Airlines at 4:20pm and they were to have a stop-over in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before connecting to Conakry.
Of the 27-man provisional squad that has been in training camp since early last week, only four players were dropped, including; goalkeepers Omar Rwabugiri (Mukura) and Abouba Bashunga (Rayon Sports), Police midfielder Eric Ngendahimana and Mukura forward Hussein Ciza.
Rwanda is in Group H alongside former African champions Ivory Coast, Guinea and the Central African Republic.
After two match rounds, Guinea top the group standings with six points, three ahead of Ivory Coast and CAR. Amavubi are at the bottom without a single point.
Full 23-man squad in Guinea:
Goalkeepers:Olivier Kwizera (Free State Stars/ South Africa) and Yves Kimenyi (APR FC/Rwanda).
Defenders:Salomon Nirisarike (AFC Tubize, Belgium), Abdoul Rwatubyaye (Rayon Sports), Herve Rugwiro (APR), Thierry Manzi (Rayon Sports), Fitina Ombolenga (APR), Emmanuel Imanishimwe (APR), Eric Rutanga (Rayon Sports) and Michel Rusheshangoga (APR).
Midfielders:Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (APR), Yannick Mukunzi (Rayon Sports), Kevin Muhire (Rayon Sports), Djihad Bizimana (Waasland-Beveren, Belgium), Haruna Niyonzima (SC Simba, Tanzania), Djabel Manishimwe (Rayon Sports), Andrew Buteera (APR ), Ally Niyonzima (AS Kigali) and Jean Claude Iranzi (APR).
Strikers: Meddie Kagere (SC Simba, Tanzania), Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Muhadjiri Hakizimana (APR) and Dany Usengimana (Tersana SC, Egypt).