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Rwanda Battle Central Africa Republic in Huye

by Bonnie Mugabe
11:15 pm

Amavubi players before last month’s against Guinea in Kigali. The team takes on Central Africa Republic on Sunday afternoon at Huye Stadium in Southern Province

Rwanda’s Amavubi host rivals Central Africa Republic at Stade Huye in Southern Province on Sunday afternoon, in a crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Kick-off is at 15h30 local time.

Rwanda sits bottom of the table with a point after playing four matches and they will seeking a win to improve on their ranking points following the early exit from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Central Africa Republic are placed third with four points and still have a slim chance of qualifying to the continental time should they win their two remaining matches-against Rwanda and Guinea Conakry and pray that second-placed Cote d’Ivoire loses their two encounters against Guinea Conakry and Rwanda.

Rwanda will also be looking for vengeance following the first 2-1 loss to CAR in Bangui last in June last year.

Skipper Jacques Tuyisenge told KT Sports on Friday, ‘We are ready to face Central Africa Republic on Sunday. We badly need maximum points and we will battle until the final minute to secure this positive result,’

Tuyisenge scored Rwanda’s equalizer against Guinea in Kigali last month in a game which ended 1-1 to enable Amavubi to secure their maiden point in this qualification round.

Central African Republic national football team, Les Fauves, are aiming to make no mistake as they seek to win all their remaining chances hoping that Cote d’Ivoire falters to snatch their Afcon ticket.

Still in Group H, Guinea will look to complete a ‘double’ over Ivory Coast when the teams meet at Stade du 28 September in Conakry on Sunday, 18 November 2018, kick-off at 19h00 CAT.

Guinea famously defeated the Elephants 3-2 in Bouake in the first round of group stage qualifiers in June 2017. The Syli Nationale came from 0-1 and 1-2 down to defeat their hosts through goals from Sadio Diallo, Francois Kamano and Naby Keita.

It was just a fourth win for Guinea in 19 matches against Ivory Coast (according to FIFA’s statistics database) and the result set them on the path to qualifying for their 12th AFCON tournament and a first since 2015.

Paul Put’s team will secure a place at Cameroon 2019 with a win, while a draw will also be enough if Central African Republic doesn’t win the weekend’s other Group H against hosts Rwanda.

Guinea produced solid performances in their back-to-back matches against Rwanda in October, winning 2-0 at home before playing out a 1-1 draw in the return, while Ivory Coast performed similarly against CAR, picking up a 4-0 home win and 0-0 away draw.

The results last month left the West African pair in strong positions to qualify: Guinea are top of the table with 10 points, while the Elephants are second with seven points. An away win for Ibrahim Kamara’s side on Sunday will see them secure passage to next year’s tournament (which would be a 23rd overall and an eighth in succession).

After four matches, Guinea leads Group H standings with 10 points, followed by former African champions Cote d’Ivoire who sit second on the log with seven points.

CAR are third in Group H standings with four points, three ahead of bottom-placed Rwanda.