Machakos-Rwanda men’s senior national team face Zanzibar in the second game of Group A as they seek to overturn the poor start to the Cecafa Challenge Cup 2017 tournament.
Rwanda and Zanzibar face-off in the opening match of the second day of group A action at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on Tuesday at 13:00 Kigali time.
Rwanda under the tutelage of Antoine Hey lost the opening game 0-2 to hosts Kenya with the hosts earning crucial first half victory courtesy of goals from Masoud Juma and Dancun Otieno.
Juma converted a penalty in the 25th minute to give Kenya the lead after Jockins Atudo was fouled in the box, 1-0.
Right after the half-hour mark Kenya doubled their lead through Otieno who finished with sheer brilliance to ensure it was 2-0 at half time.
In the beginning of the second stanza, the Amavubi were reduced to 10-men as Kayumba was sent off and Kenya gained further advantage.
Overall, Rwanda had the majority of possession, but their decision making in the final third let them down as they lost their first game in the group.
Coach told KT Sports that, “The first match was very difficult not because of the opposition because on a normal day Rwanda can beat Kenya but it the loss was an attribute of many situations which included fatigue from players due to long trips, from Kigali to Nairobi, then to Kakamega; accommodation and feeding was very bad, all this was an absolute disgrace,”
“The players were very tired in the first half and this is where we actually lost the match, they tried, we can’t blame them, but in the second half, they decided to pick up but unfortunately the red card ended all hopes of any comeback. Players tried to push forward but then to get into the game, trying to do what was possible but it wasn’t possible,” added.
Against Zanzibar, Coach Hey said, “Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a new day, we are playing a new match with new fresh players who didn’t play on Sunday and then lets’ what’s going to happen,”
“It’s a complete team that’s going to face Zanzibar because we have enough players and we need fresh new legs. With CHAN coming in January, we are trying different things, everyone has to get enough playing time and show what he can do, we are trying different set ups and tactics and that’s what we are here for,” He explained.
Amavubi who have reached the final on six occasions, but failed to lift the trophy in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015 and have one title next to their name, can rejuventate their title ambitions if they win their remaining group matches to be assured of a place in the last four.
However, Zanzibar will be aiming to start their mission on a bright note by winning their maiden group stage match. The East African nation is yet to taste glory in the tournament and will change all of that to write a new chapter in the regional showpiece.
Rwanda currently sits bottom of the table with no point after from one defeat while Zanzibar sit at number four on the group with zero points as they are yet to play at the tournament.
Still in Group A, hosts Kenya take on Libya in the second game at 15:15 at Kenyatta stadium while in Kakamega, Ethiopia will be up against South Sudan at Bukhungu stadium.
Meanwhile, on Monday, defending champions Uganda were held to a goalless draw by Burundi in a Group B match played in Kakamega.
Nzarora Marcel, Herve Rugwiro, Ali Mbogo, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Fitina Omborenga, Amran Nshimiyimana, Ali Noyonzima, Olivier Niyonzima, Maxime Sekamana, Nshuti Innocent and Hakizimana Muhadjili.
Cecafa Challenge Cup Kenya 2017
Tuesday, December 5 Fixtures
Zanzibar vs Rwanda (Machakos, 1pm)
Kenya vs Libya (Machakos, 3:15pm)
Ethiopia vs South Sudan (Kakamega, 3pm)