Rwanda Vs Ivory Coast 15:30
Guinea Vs CAR 16:30
Rwanda international Abdul Rwatubyaye believes Amavubi are capable of beating Ivory Coast as the two sides gear up for their AFCON Group ‘H’ qualifier in Kigali
The central defender and the rest of Vincent Mashami’s Amavubi squad will be hosting Les Elephants in the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) clash at Kigali Stadium on Sunday.
Rwatubyaye, 23, says it is impossible to avoid looking ahead to the match-up against the former African champions as Rwanda attempts to reach AFCON finals for the first time since 2004.
“If you have Ivory Coast to face you have to think about them – they are one of the best teams in Africa and in the world. We respect them but we will have to show that we are Rwanda, we can beat anyone, especially at home,” said Rwatubyaye.
The hosts started the group campaign on a low note, losing 2-1 away to the Republic of Central Africa during the two sides’ first-leg in June last year.
Mashami’s men are on hunt for qualification to Afcon finals and know victory over Ivory Coast would be a stepping-stone.
National football players listen to the coach Vincent Mashami before a traning session at Kigali Stadium on Wednesday (Sam Ngendahimana)
Mashami drops five players
In the meantime, the newly Amavubi coach Mashami has dropped five players, and kept 26 ahead of the Les Elephants tie.
Those dropped are Eric Ngendahimana, Saidi Iragire, Jimmy Mbaraga, Djuma Nizeyimana and forward Jean Paul Uwimbabazi
By press time Thursday, Ivory Coast delegation was expected in Kigali late in the night aboard a private jet from Paris, France – joining their central defender Eric Baily who plies his trade with English football giants Manchester United.
Baily arrived in the country Tuesday and held personal training on Wednesday afternoon at Amahoro Stadium in the company of the team’s assistant coach Jean Claude Patrick.
In the ongoing qualifiers for next year’s AFCON tournament, to be held in Cameroon, Rwanda are in Group H alongside Ivory Coast, the Republic of Central Africa, and Guinea.
Amavubi forward Patrick Sibomana from FC Shakhtyor in Belarus and his teammates during the training session at Kigali Stadium on Wednesday (Sam Ngendahimana)