D-day as Rwanda eye 3 goals past Congo
2015 Afcon qualifier,
Rwanda vs. Congo 15.30
Kenya vs. Lesotho
AMAVUBI will be hoping to find an early goal to motivate the country’s quest of knocking out Congo this afternoon in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Kigali Regional Stadium.
The Congolese lead 2-0 from the first leg of the third round qualifier through CesaireGandze and Ferebory Dore goals.
England-born Constantine debuted as Rwanda handler last month as Amavubi shocked Libya 3-0 in Kigali. A similar score line would see Rwanda join title-holders Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan in Group A for the September-November mini-league phase.
The 51-year-old former coach of Malawi, Sudan, India and Nepal believes an early goal would greatly boost hopes of overtaking Congo.
“Our focus is squarely on the game against Congo. The atmosphere in the camp has been throughout excellent. I have been involved in football since Iw as 17 but I have not seen such a good atmosphere in any of the teams I have been through,”
“I said after the game with Gabon that I have to give credit to the players because they beat a good Gabon side and the mood is that yes we can and yes we can. We have a good squad with good atmosphere, we have just started our journey and there is a great belief in the players,”
“We will give everything we have and hopefully we can win 3-0 and that’s the result we are looking for. We did it against Libya and I don’t think anybody gave us a chance, so we are ready to give everything we have for this game,” added Constantine.
While Constantine sits in one Stade Nyamirambo dugout, veteran African campaigner Claude Le Roy will occupy the other. Frenchman Le Roy guided Cameroon to the Cup of Nations title 26 years ago and most recently was in charge of Congo DR at the 2013 tournament.
The Red Devils’ last appearance was in 2000 and hopes of overall success over Rwanda have been boosted by the availability of Europe-based midfielders DelvinN’Dinga and Prince Oniangue.
Happy with their first leg win, Congo boss Claude Leroy said that they will still play forward in Kigali, to seal their qualification as soon as possible.
“The most important in those double tie encounters is not to concede goals at home. Even a goalless draw is sometimes a good result,” Leroy said.
“It is why we must go to Kigali with an attacking spirit and not to defend. We know that if we manage to score, they will have to hit four to kick us out.”
As Amavubi miss foreign-based trio of DadyBirori, Elias Uzamukunda and defender Salomon Nirisarike, the French tactician will have to do without several of his Europe-based professionals, including defenders Francis and Igor N’Ganga, midfielders Arnold BoukaMoutou and Prince Oniangué and forwards Francis Litsingi and LadislasDouniama.
The winners of this final preliminary round clash will join Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan in Group A of the qualifiers.
Elsewhere, Kenya suffered badly with goalkeeper Arnold Origi and midfielders John Omollo and AyubTimbe missing a 1-0 defeat in Lesotho.
But Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama from English Premier League outfit Southampton played and officials expect him to also feature in the return match.
Lesotho are desperate to improve a Cup of Nations record of scoring only once during 11 consecutive away losses.
Botswana is battling to finance the trip to Guinea-Bissau having built a 2-0 lead courtesy of a LemponyeTshireletso first-half brace. “We have worked so hard to get this far and I would be gutted if we cannot travel,” said England-born coach Peter Butler.
Tanzania were the lone first-leg hosts not to win, but Dutch coach Mart Nooij believes he can overcome former team Mozambique despite a 2-2 first-leg stalemate. “No one gave us a chance in Zimbabwe and we scored twice to draw. The battle with Mozambique is far from over,” he stressed.
Uganda takes a 2-0 lead to Mauritania, Sierra Leone travel to the Seychelles with a similar advantage, and Benin visit Malawi leading 1-0 thanks to a Stephane Sessegnon goal.