Goalie Mvuyekure receives first Amavubi call up after five years

Emery Mvuyekure, 29, joined Kenyan side Tusker FC last October after struggling for starting position at APR for three seasons. He also previously played for Police. File.

Goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure has been recalled to the Amavubi squad ahead of their upcoming Group H clash against Côte d’Ivoire in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers this month.

It is the player’s first call-up in the senior national team since 2014. 

Mvuyekure, who plies his trade with Kenyan side Tusker, is part of the 27-man provisional squad – to start residential training on Thursday – as Amavubi gear up for their last group match against the 2015 African champions on March 23 at Stade Bouaké in Ivory Coast.

The 29-year old will be vying for a starting position with APR stopper Yves Kimenyi and Mukura Victory Sports’ Omar Rwabugiri.

While addressing members of the press at Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) headquarters on Monday, Amavubi head coach Vincent Mashami said that the newly named team will be training daily at Amahoro Stadium till March 20.

 “We might be out of qualifiers for the 2019 AFCON tournament, but we will be aiming for a win against Côte d’Ivoire. This game will also boost the experience of our home-based players,” said Mashami.

“We start training Thursday until March 20 at Amahoro Stadium. I have confidence in every of the 27 players on the provisional squad.”

After one week of intensive preparations, Mashami will announce his final 18-player squad that will depart Kigali for Abidjan on March 21.

The named provisional squad includes seven foreign-based players led by midfielder Djihad Bizimana (Waasland Beveren/Belgium), Meddie Kagere (Simba/ Tanzania) and Kenya-based Gor Mahia forward Jacques Tuyisenge who will captain the team.

As it was expected, the former APR tactician picked no interest in recalling skipper Haruna Niyonzima after the player was also omitted from the team that played out a 2-all draw with Central African Republic at Huye Stadium last November.

Former Rayon Sports and APR playmaker Niyonzima has not been a regular at Simba SC in Tanzania and his form has drastically dropped since his 2017 move from Young Africans.

Full 27-man squad

Goalkeepers:Omar Rwabugiri (Mukura), Yves Kimenyi (APR) and Emery Mvuyekure (Tusker FC, Kenya).

Defenders: Abdoul Rwatubyaye (Sporting KC, USA), Salomon Nirisarike (AFC Tubize, Belgium), Thierry Manzi (Rayon Sports), Prince Buregeya (APR), Fitina Omborenga (APR), Emmanuel Imanishimwe (APR), Hussein Habimana (Rayons Sports), Saidi Iragire (Mukura), Eric Rutanga (Rayon Sports) and Eric Iradukunda (Rayon sports).

Midfielders:Andrew Butera (APR), Ally Niyonzima (APR), Kevin Muhire (El Dakhleya, Egypt), Olivier Niyonzima (Rayon Sports), Eric Nsabimana (AS Kigali), Djihad Bizimana (Waasland Beveren, Belgium) and Imran Nshimiyimana (APR).

Forwards: Meddie Kagere (SC Simba, Tanzania), Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Muhadjiri Hakizimana (APR), Dominique Savio Nshuti (APR), Juma Nizeyimana (Kiyovu), Lague Byiringiro (APR) and Bertrand Iradukunda (Mukura VS).