Despite missing out on a call-up to Amavubi for the Ivory Coast AFCON qualifier tie come September 9, Rayon Sports midfielder Olivier ‘Sefu’ Niyonzima has remained optimistic that time will come and he earns a regular place on the national team.
Speaking to Times Sport yesterday, Niyonzima said. “As a player I have to cheer on the team and also keep working hard so that I can get a call-up next time.”
Niyonzima, who had an impressive season despite his club failing to retain the league trophy or win this year’s Peace Cup title, believes that his season with Rayon is memorable.
“Although we had a terrible season in domestic competitions, we reached the last eight in the CAF Confederation Cup, which is the club’s most valuable achievement. During this international break, I am doing individual training to keep fit ahead of Enyimba clash,” noted Sefu.
The 23-year-old holding midfielder played a crucial part for his side in the 2-1 away win to Kenya’s Gor Mahia on August 19 but was suspended for one game after collecting two accumulative yellow cards – which resulted in missing the win against Tanzanian giants Young ‘Yanga’ Africans on August 29.
“My focus, and challenge to my teammates, is to impress against the Nigerian side in Kigali, if we win at home then the return-leg will be relatively easier to deal with,” he added.
The eight-time Rwandan champions were drawn against Nigerian powerhouse and two-time African champions Enyimba as their quarter-finals opponents.
Roberto Oliveira’s side will host the first leg in Kigali on September 16 before the return leg a week later at the newly renovated Enyimba International Stadium in Aba, Nigeria.
Niyonzima was part of the Amavubi team that brushed off Ethiopia last year to qualify for the 5th edition of CHAN finals staged in Morocco earlier this year.