Mashami to name Amavubi squad for Côte d'Ivoire game

Vincent Mashami was appointed as Amavubi head coach on a one-year deal in August 2018. / File

March 23

Group H
Côte d'Ivoire vs Rwanda
CAR vs Guinea

Vincent Mashami will on Monday name his Amavubi provisional squad ahead of their final Group H match, in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, against Côte d'Ivoire at Stade Bouaké on March 23.

After Monday’s press briefing, in which the squad will be officially announced, the national team will report for residential camp on Thursday where they will be training twice a day at Amahoro Stadium.

Mashami and his men will be wrapping up their disappointing group campaign away to Ivory Coast after failing to win a single game in the first five games – having only managed two draws, and suffered three defeats, respectively.

The former APR and Bugesera FC head coach will confirm his final 18-player squad a couple days before the trip, which is tentatively on March 20.

Amavubi skipper Haruna Niyonzima and his assistant Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza are likely to be omitted from the squad again after missing the Central African Republic (CAR) game last November, which ended in a 2-all draw at Huye Stadium.

While APR captain Mugiraneza is still recovering from injury, playmaker Niyonzima has not been a regular at Simba SC in Tanzania and his form has drastically dropped since his move from bitter rivals Young Africans in 2017.

Among foreign-based players that are expected to be called up include Belgium-based duo of Djihad Bizimana (Waasland-Beveren) and Salomon Nirisarike (AFC Tubize), Gor Mahia forward Jacques Tuyisenge (Kenya) and Simba SC talisman Meddie Kagere (Tanzania).

Ahead of their final group match, Amavubi are bottom of Pool H with only two points from five games, three adrift of third-placed CAR. Guinea top the group with 11 points, followed by former African champions Ivory Coast with 8 points.

Should Niyonzima be left out again, Tuyisenge will captain Amavubi against Côte d'Ivoire.