Amavubi captain Niyonzima hopeful of taming Mozambique


With a back four of Michel Rusheshangoga, Emery Bayisenge, Faustin Usengimana and Abouba Sibomana, the Amavubi boast of a good physical presence and it is against this background that Niyonzima has urged his teammates to work together as a tight unit to avoid conceding.

?Our objective is to make sure that we do not concede a goal against Mozambique. It is possible [to concede] but we have the belief that we have the ability to defend well and this will give us confidence to look for a goal and try to win the game,? said Niyonzima before the team?s departure on Thursday.

Rwanda conceded twice in a 2-0 loss to Zambia in an international friendly in Lusaka in March in what was Johnny McKinstry?s first game in charge of Amavubi as head coach.

However, Tanzania-based Niyonzima who plays for Yanga believes the team have prepared intensively for tomorrow?s game and attributed the confidence to last weekend?s results in the Genocide Commemoration Cup, which included a goalless draw against Kenya and a 2-0 win over Tanzania.

Niyonzima noted, ?I was very pleased that we did not concede any goals over the weekend and those two matches helped us to prepare for the game against Mozambique. It is not by accident that we did not concede and this has increased our confidence as a team and we hope to replicate it on Sunday.?

Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and Yannick Mukunzi are expected to provide cover in front of the back four but Niyonzima, who will play just behind the strikers, is wary of the Mozambican side, which will be playing in front of a home crowd.

?The coach showed us some of their (Mozambique) videos and he showed us how we can approach the game. They have their system and we have ours but we have to concentrate on ours so that we do what will help us achieve our target.

We want to win the game but even if we don?t win, at least we should come back home with a point,? mentioned a confident Niyonzima, who is seeking to become the first Amavubi captain to lead the team to the AFCON finals tournament in Gabon after Desire Mbonabucya in Tunisia in 2004.

In the other game in Group H, Ghana hosts Mauritius at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra.

Amavubi squad

Olivier Kwizera, Eric Ndayishimiye, Michel Rusheshangoga, Emery Bayisenge, Herve Rugwiro, Faustin Usengimana, Eric Rutanga, Abouba Sibomana, Haruna Niyonzima, Andrew Buteera, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Djihad Bizimana, Yannick Mukunzi, Patrick Sibomana, Jean Claude Iranzi, Michel Ndahinduka, Ernest Sugira, Jacques Tuyisenge.


Group H

Mozambique?? vs????? Rwanda?????? 3pm SS3

Ghana??????????? vs????? Mauritius???? 5:30pm

By Usher Komugisha, The New Times

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