We are not in Guinea to be nice losers, says Mashami

Mashami speaks to journalists before heading to Guinea on Monday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Friday

Group H

Guinea           Vs  Rwanda   16:30

Ivory Coast    Vs  CAR         17:00

Amavubi head coach Vincent Mashami has insisted Amavubi will play attacking football against Guinea when the Group H sides square off in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers today in Conakry.

Guinea host Rwanda today at Stade du 28 Septembre in the country’s capital.

“We have nothing to defend for on Friday (today), we are going to attack and attack as we seek to win in Guinea ahead of the return-leg in Kigali next week. Failure to collect maximum points will see us out of the race for a slot in the 2019 Afcon finals,” said Mashami.

Rwanda and Guinea were part of Group A at the 2004 Afcon finals tournament in Tunisia, along with DR Congo and the hosts. They played out a 1-all draw in their group stage clash.

“Guinea are one of the strongest teams in Africa at the moment with famed players on global scene. However, we won’t be intimidated, we have to executive our game plan and do all we can to win,” the former APR coach added.

Sitting at the bottom of the group without a single point yet, Mashami’s men will need a crucial away victory against in-form Syli Nationale to revive hopes in their chase for the country’s second Afcon finals appearance.

“We have learned our lessons in the last two defeats, against Ivory Coast and Central African Republic, we have to play mature football this time around. We have only one alternative, to be better than Guinea in every aspect,” Mashami noted.

Guinea are star-studded

While they will be on a do-or-die mission, Amavubi will need to overcome a star-studded Guinea squad that boast some of the globally renowned players such as Liverpool midfielder Naby Kaita, Napoli star Amadou Diawara, and Ibrahima Cissé, who plays for Fulham.

Others include; Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse, France), Ibrahima Conté (Lorient, France), Ernest Seka (Nancy, France), Mohamed Aly Camara (Young Boys, Switzerland), Mady Camara (Olympiacos, Greece), François Kamano (Bordeaux, France), as well as Ibrahima Traoré, who plies his trade with German Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach.

“We didn’t travel to Guinea to be nice losers, we are here to work with dignity and purpose to earn a crucial away victory. We are going to fight until the final whistle. We have a dream and will fight to realise it,” Mashami emphasised.

Tentative line-up

South Africa-based Olivier Kwizera is likely to start in the goal, Fitina Ombalenga on the right-back, Emmanuel Imanishimwe on the left-back while Abdoul Rwatubyaye and Salomon Nirisarike will start in the central defense.

In middle of the field, Mashami might opt to use long serving Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Djihad Bizimana and skipper Haruna Niyonzima, with Muhadjiri Hakizimana as an attacking midfielder.

The duo of Jacques Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere will lead the attack.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast host Central African Republic today in another Group H clash at 5pm.

After two match rounds, unbeaten Guinea lead the group standings with six points, while Ivory and Central African Republic are second and third, respectively, with three points each.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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