The New Times (Kigali)

30 May 2012

Rwanda/Algeria: Karekezi Optimistic Ahead of Algeria Clash

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix
Rafik Djebbour of Algeria is challenged by Jay Demerit of United States at the 2010 World Cup.

Amavubi Stars skipper Olivier Karekezi is confident that despite the poor results in the friendly matches played, Rwanda can still get a good result against Algeria on Saturday in the first Group H 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier.

Rwanda lost twice against Libya (2-0) and Tunisia (5-1) in the two international friendly matches played during their training camp in Tunisia.

Karekezi told Times Sport, "We are 24 players and there is no player who will complain that he was not given a chance to prove himself. The coaches gave a chance to each one of us to impress before the final team for the upcoming match against Algeria is named".

"In both matches, we gave away far too cheap goals, but that is not an excuse for losing twice in a row. I still believe we have room for improvement before Saturday's World Cup qualifier.

"We still have a game against Chad (today) and after that trial time will be over, it will be time for real business, so it is up to the coaches to select what they believe is the best possible team," noted the APR captain and the most capped player in the current Amavubi team.

Meanwhile, Amavubi head coach Milutin Sredojovic Micho has confirmed that France-based striker Elias Uzamukunda will not be considered for Saturday's game.

The former AS Kigali and APR forward snubbed a call to join the national team in its training camp in Tunisia.

"Thinking about one person will simply divert our focus from the big picture. I wish him all the best in his future," said Micho, who will now have to rely on local based strikers; Karekezi, Jerome Sina, Bokota Labama, Meddie Kagere and Dady Birori to find goals.

This is the second time Uzamukunda has snubbed Amavubi call this year. In February, he missed the first leg of the 2013 Africa Nations' Cup qualifier against Nigeria which was played in Kigali and ended in a goalless draw.

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