Vincent Mashami has said there were many lessons for Amavubi to learn from their AFCON 2019 qualifiers’ final match against Côte d’Ivoire over the weekend, which they lost 3-0 at Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan.
The 2015 African champions ended their qualification campaign with an emphatic win over strugglers Amavubi, who ended their disappointing journey with only two from a possible 18 points in Group H, having drawn two and lost four games.
Nicolas Pepe put the hosts ahead in the 7th minute to hand Ibrahim Kamara’s side a 1-0 first half lead. Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly doubled the lead in the 67th minute before Maxwel Cornet completed the rout for Amavubi with 18 minutes to clock.
“Despite the loss, we have picked a few lessons from the mistakes we made. We now have to think about the future, and the essence is to learn and pickup match fitness for competitions ahead,” said Mashami in a post-match interview.
Rwanda had only one shot on target in the whole game.
“Unfortunately we lost, but we were playing against a big and more experienced team. What I wanted is to make sure that my players are confident when they meet big teams of such caliber,” he noted.
Mashami and his delegation arrive back in the country Monday afternoon.
Cecafa region makes history
Meanwhile, the CECAFA region, where Rwanda is also situated, has qualified a record three nations to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals tournament due in Egypt.
The three countries include Burundi who booked their ticket as Group C first runners-up with 11 points after holding Gabon to a 1-all draw in their final qualifier in Bujumbura on Saturday. The other two regional countries who qualified are Uganda and Kenya.
Tanzania was expected to become the fourth CECAFA country to qualify on Sunday.
By press time Sunday, Tanzania were due to host Uganda in Group L and victory for the Kilimanjaro Stars would make them the fourth Cecafa nation to book their slot at the 2019 revamped 24-team AFCON finals tournament.
This is the first time Burundi have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.