Rwanda face Gabon on Sunday
2015 AYC qualifiers
Rwanda vs. Gabon
Burundi vs. Cameroon
Rwanda will face Gabon in the first leg of the second round in the Senegal 2015 Africa Youth Championship (AYC) qualifying campaign.
Rwanda qualified to the second round without dropping a sweat following the withdrawal of their would-be opponents South Sudan in March.
The national team has not had enough preparations due to the on-going national football league which ended on May 4 and Tardy believes this obstacle will hinder his side’s chances of getting a positive result against the Gabonese, Les Panthéreaux who only joined camp on April 28.
“It has been difficult to have a full team ever since we started training late last month. I have had six days to have a full team assembled,”
“I thought I would engage them in a friendly match against Cameroon enroute to Burundi but the West Africans have also canceled the game.”
“Our game against Gabon will be difficult because they have been in competition preparing for this game. They also boost of six professional players which is a big challenge to our side,”
“But we will try our best and see if we can force a win at home before considering what can be done in the second leg,” added Tardy.
Despite the uncertainties, Tardy believes playing behind home support, players like Arsenal-based Alfred Martin Mugabo and Valencia’s Academie Futelite defender Anderson Neza will boost the local lads to go ahead and secure a win.
Tardy will also boosted with experienced youthful players like goalie Olivier Kwizera, Eric Rutanga, Maxime Sekamana, Suleiman Kakira, Patrick Sibomana and Yannick Mukunzi who helped APR win the 2013/14 Turbo King Football League title over the weekend.
Right back Yves Rwigema from Academie Futelite in Valencia is likely to sit out Sunday’s match after making a quick recovery from malaria fever.
Tardy will be assisted by Rayon Sports team manager Thierry Hitimana. Hitimana replaced AS Kigali coach Andre Cassa Mbungo who has been appointed Amavabi assistant coach.
Their opponents Gabon arrived in the country last night with a 23-man team under the tutelage of head coach Rigobert Nzamba.
Nzamba whose team will be staying at Impala Hotel, is comprised of six professional players.
They include goalkeeper Scott Ngou from Prestige Football Academy in South Africa, defender Alane Koukidi from Stade Olympique Cholet in France), midfielders Wilhem Ngaka from Cray Wanderers in England and Gaetan Missi Mezu from Valenciennes, France and two strikers Ricky Ndoutoume and Samuel Obame who play for French sides FC Villefranche and Montpellier HSC respectively.
The return leg will be played on May 24 in Libreville where the winner over the two legs will face the victor between Sierra Leone/Guinea and Ghana in the final qualifying round.
Only seven places are up for grabs to join the hosts, Senegal for the finals tournament. The semi-finalists in Senegal will represent Africa at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Goalkeepers: Florent Ngouandzela (AS Mangasport), Patrick Menene Mekosso (CF Mounana) and Scott Ngou (Prestige Football Academy, South Africa)
Defenders : Muller Dinda (Missile), Glen Guibindi (AS Pélican), Karl Mboudou (Sogea),Alexandre Yika (Mangasport), Alane Koukidi (Stade Olympique Cholet, France), MBA Hibrahim (Port Gentil) and Gael Matsemba (CF Mounana)
Midfielders : Guelor Kouendi (AC Bongoville), Valdo Bitsaka (AS Mangasport), Soumaila Biyogho (Sapins FC), Wilhem Ngaka (Cray Wanderers, England), Loic Assame Nguema (CMS), Gaetan Missi Mezu (Valenciennes, France) and Louis Autchanga (CF Mounana)
Strikers: Ricky Ndoutoume (FC Villefranche, France), Regis Nzong Betoughe (Sogea), Matthieu Aubame Ekang (FC Sapins), Edmond Locko Lessa (CMS), Junior Aubyang Bayano (US Bitam) and Samuel Obame (Montpellier HSC, France).