Stakes high as Rwanda host DRC in AFCON U23 clash

APR winger Dominique Savio Nshuti (left) is the Amavubi U23 captain. He is seen here in action during a past match against Morocco at Amahoro Stadium. Sam Ngendahimana.


Rwanda      Vs    DR Congo 15:30

Head coach Jimmy Mulisa will be desperate for home victory when Rwanda U23 host their counterparts of DR Congo on Wednesday afternoon at Umuganda Stadium, in Rubavu District.

The two neighbours face off in the first-leg clash of the first round in qualifiers of the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations finals due in Egypt, in August.

The stakes are high for either side as they are both looking to advance to the penultimate round where the winner over the two-legged tie will meet Morocco in March next year.

Mulisa has vowed that his boys are ready ‘to do the needful’ to earn a win in the first-leg before traveling to Kinshasa for the decisive encounter next week.

“We are ready for the challenge, and we will give our best in order to get a big win ahead of the return-leg in Kinshasa. The game is going to be tough on both sides, but the boys are in upbeat mood and want to make the most of home advantage,” said Mulisa.

He added: “We know we are facing a relatively strong side, but we have prepared accordingly. Going into the game with an underdog tag puts us in a good position to prove otherwise.”

The DR Congo head coach, Guy Busaka, said that his side had enough time to prepare and study their opponents.

“We know Rwanda and are aware of their strengths. We must avoid unnecessary mistakes in defence and utilise well every our goal opportunities. Thankfully, we will host the return-leg, if we do well at Umuganda Stadium, chances to make it to the next stage will be high,” Busaka said.

The third and final round of qualifiers will be held in June next year.

The tournament, slated for November 8-22 2019 in Egypt, will determine three teams that will represent Africa at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

This will be the 3rd edition of Africa U-23 Cup of Nations.