Amavubi head coach Antoine Hey has stated that Rwanda is in a build-up process for Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) at the on-going CECAFA Challenge Cup currently underway in Kenya.
Hey made the remarks after Rwanda lost their second game of the tournament to Zanzibar on Tuesday in Machakos, Kenya.
The Islanders Zanzibar produced their first shock of this year’s CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, beating Rwanda 3-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium.
Antoine Hey justified his decision to change the whole team from the one that played against Kenya in the opener, insisting he wants to give a chance to every player to impress.
“We made it very complicated for us today (Tuesday), We were 1-0 down, chasing this goal, we came back after a couple of minutes then conceded the second one and that was hard to take,”
We are in a build-up process towards CHAN, we played a different system from what we did against Kenya and against Libya, we will try something else because we need to see what is best we can do with the players that we have. We are not yet there to say that we have a final team for CHAN,”
He further added, “It’s never good to lose but my responsibility is to build options for the team and players that we have and give these young boys a chance to learn. For me I believe it’s a good to give our young players a chance to learn and that’s more important than the result. And it doesn’t mean that I will always be playing the first 11 because you might head to CHAN with a team full of injuries and you end up being kicked out of the tournament in the group stage.
On Tuesday, Rwanda’s hopes of making it to the semi-finals were dashed after a second loss.
After a goal down in the first half, Amavubi’s forward Muhadjiri Hakizimana cancelled out Mudathir Yahya’s first half opener, but Issa Juma doubled the lead for the Zanzibaris scoring the second in the 52nd minute while Khamis Suleiman struck the winner with four minutes left.
Rwanda lies bottom of the five-team group with no point in two matches played while Kenya tops with four points, followed by Zanzibar with three points, Libya and Tanzania have a point each.
The tournament took a rest on Wednesday and will resume on Thursday with a local derby, Tanzania taking on Zanzibar while Rwanda plays Libya both in Machakos. In Kakamega, Uganda plays South Sudan on Friday.