Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars is determined to make their home-ground advantage count when they host the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in the return leg of their CHAN 2014 Central Zone qualifier today at Stade de Kigali.
The Walya Antelopes have a slight advantage over the Wasps after winning the first leg two weeks ago in Addis Ababa 1-0 courtesy of midfielder Asrat Megersa’s lone goal.
While Ethiopia need just a draw of any kind to qualify for the CHAN finals to take place in South Africa next year, Rwanda need to win 2-0 or at least win 1-0 and force the tie into penalties.
Amavubi Stars coach Eric Nshimiyimana will miss the services of injured Jimmy Mbaraga, Musa Muhayimana and Fabrice Twagizimana.
“We are well prepared for the match. Nothing is going to distract our mission. If history is anything to go by, we have already lost, but football is not as that straight forward, we have our chance and we will be aiming to seize it in-front of our fans,” Nshimiyimana told Saturday Sports after taking his team their paces on Friday.
The former skipper explained that he has done his best to put his players in the best position to approach the game mentally and physically, “our mission is to find a mechanism of qualifying for 2014 CHAN finals in South Africa.”
He admitted, “We struggled to score in Addis Ababa but we have since worked on our attacking midfield and striking forces and we are optimistic on winning the match.”
Experienced APR midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza will be skipper of the Amavubi team, while the coach will look to industrious Meddie Kagere and Michel Ndahinduka for the goals.
While the host coach will be hoping to take full home advantage, his opposite number of Ethiopia, Sewnet Bishaw seems to be a man on a mission as he seeks to qualify for the 2014 Orange African Nations Cup.
Bishaw was categorical when his team beat Rwanda 1-0 in Addis Ababa, a fortnight ago saying that they are in a better position to qualify for the African show piece.
“I promise that we will beat them [Rwanda] in their own back yard and we will be through to the finals in South Africa. Having watched them in the first leg, I don’t see any big problems but in football you can never underrate your opponents,” said Bishaw.
Bishaw has been at the centre of Ethiopia’s success leading them to the 2013 Afcon in South Africa and also being in-charge as Ethiopia are on the verge of qualifying for the final round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The winner of this double-legged tie will earn qualification to the tournament which will take place in South Africa next year, while the loser will enter the second round of qualification.
There are seven second-leg fixtures with final places up for grabs and Mali are well placed having beaten Guinea 3-1 at home, as are Sudan after forcing a 1-1 draw in Burundi.
Burkina Faso and 2009 champions Democratic Republic of Congo face tough tasks against Niger and Congo Brazzaville respectively having built just one-goal home leads.
Mauritania joins the other four countries already qualified, South Africa, the host country, Ghana, Libya and Morocco. Other teams play their qualifying matches next weekend.
Amavubi probable starting XI:
Jean Claude Ndoli, Michel Rusheshangoga, Abouba Sibomana, Emery Bayisenge, Faustin Usengimana, Aphrodis Hategikimana, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza, Andrew Buteera, Patrick Sibomana, Meddie Kagere and Michel Ndahinduka.
Rwanda vs Ethiopia 3.30pm
Uganda vs Tanzania
Zambia vs Bostwana
Nigeria vs Cote d’Ivoire
Sudan vs Burundi
Congo vs DR Congo
Cameroon vs Gabon