Rwanda face Libya on Thursday afternoon in the third game of their Cecafa Challenge Cup campaign. The match will be played at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos with kick-off delayed until 15:15.
With back-to-back defeats at this year’s regional tournament, Rwanda will be seeking to put their campaign back on track against Libya when the two teams meet in a prelude to next year’s CHAN finals in Morocco.
Skipper Eric Ndayishimiye told KT Sports after Wednesday’s training session held at Machakos Academy that today’s encounter against Libya is a must-win for Rwanda.
“We are optimistic and ready for the next game against Libya. We failed to have good performances in our last two matches, mistakes were done and those game are at our back of our minds but we are not happy at all,”
“We think we can revive our hopes against Libya. They are a good side too but we want to play well, defend and attack in search for goals but in a very composed and disciplinary tactical way. We know were we faulted and we are up and ready to make amends and I believe we can do so in the remaining matches though our hopes of progressing to the last four are almost shattered,” added Ndayishimiye.
A loss for Rwanda, champions for the only time in 1999, in today’s match may completely end their hopes of reaching the last four though the remaining six points can grant them passage only if other group teams Kenya, Zanzibar,Libya and Tanzania falter in their respective matches.
Rwanda occupy the bottom with zero points on the log table having conceded five goals and scored once.
On the part of the North Africans, Libya drew twice in the tournament so far and will also be chasing a victory in their third match as they appear as guests.
Goalless draws against Taifa Stars of Tanzania and Harambee Stars of Kenya means they are yet to score in the tournament.
They occupy the third spot in the group with two points from their two stalemates and coach Amr El-Mrimi must devise a plan to get a win.
Ahead of this encounter, the two nations have met six times and the Mediterranean Knights have three victories, two draws and one defeat.
In an earlier game which will be played in Machakos, Tanzania Mainland takes on Zanzibar at 13:00 local time. Zanzibar will be chasing their second win in Group A following their 3-1 win over the Amavubi of Rwanda in their opening encounter on Tuesday.
Sitting at the second spot in the group with three points behind hosts, Kenya, means they will want to win and make it two wins from as many games.
On the other hand, Tanzania are yet to taste victory in the regional showpiece and will be under pressure to grab the three points. They managed a goalless draw against guests Libya in their opening game played on Sunday last week.
Rwanda: Ndayishimiye Eric, Faustin Usengimana, Manzi Thierry, Kayumba Soter, Iradukunda Eric, Yannick Mukunzi, Bizimana Djihad, Rutanga Eric, Manishimwe Djabel, Mico Justin and Biramahire Abeddy
Libya: Azzaqah Ahmed, Eltribi Ahmed, Ajbarah Saed, Aljamal Tariq, Sabbou Motasem, Shafshuf Suhib, Albadri Faisal, Madeen Muhanad, Tubal Mohamed, Mohamed Amer and Almaryami Khalid
Tanzania vs Zanzibar (Machakos, 1pm)
Rwanda vs Libya (Machakos, 3pm)
Ethiopia vs Burundi (Kakamega, 2pm)