Rwanda's U-20 national team takes on Mali as they seek to qualify for the Africa Youth Football Championships finals in Algeria in 2013.
The Junior Wasps entertain their Malian counterparts in the first leg of the 2013 Africa Youth championships qualifier at Stade de Kigali.
Apart from defensive pair of Faustin Usengimana and Salomon Nirisarike, Coach Richard Tardy has rest of his players ready and upbeat for the game.
"I have no news about Mali but what I know they are not pushovers. So it will be a difficult game but I have cautioned the team to be ready to handle anything that Mali will throw over to them".
"The qualification is after two games and this is why we need to be careful. They have a good team with tall players and we must be at our very best and play like we did against Nigeria in the friendly match we played early this week".
"We must win the match whatsoever such that we can head to Mali for the return leg with an advantage of goals," added Tardy.
Mali made their debut at the African Youth Championships in 1989 and made it all the way to the final of their maiden showing, only to lose to Nigeria 4-1 on aggregate over two legs.
Coach Moussa Kaita said, "I know that we are going to face a good formidable team of Rwanda. They are composed of players who finished second in the CAN U-17 and took part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico,"
"So I know it will be a very big challenge for us to contain the Rwandese team which is quite experienced. But all we need is to maintain them and prevent them from scoring before we can take them home for the return leg," added Kaita.
The country has been a regular at the tournament since then and last year they were ranked the fourth best Under-20 side on the continent, making them genuine contenders once again for Algeria.
Aside from their runners-up finish they have also finished third (2003) and fourth (1995), and will have targeted a top four finish once more as a minimum.
The winner over the two-legged tie will face either Lesotho or Zambia in the final qualification round in September and October.
The road to the 18th African Youth Under-20 Championship to be held in Algeria in 2013 enters crucial stage this weekend with 14 second round matches.
Sixteen teams are in action as the early steps to see who will wrestle the crown currently in the hands of the Nigerians start across the continent.
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria won the title last year in South Africa with Cameroon finishing in second place. Egypt and Mali finished third and fourth respectively while hosts South Africa, Gambia, Ghana and Lesotho were the other finalists.
The marathon qualifying for "Algeria 2013" will end in October after 58 games. This will be one of the 14 matches lined up across the continent.
Rwanda: Olivier Kwizera, Jean Marie Rusingizandekwe, Francois Habyarimana, Patrick Umwungeli, Emery Bayisenge, Tumaine Ntamuhanga, Eric Nsabimana, Jean d'Amour Uwimana, Charles Mwesigye, Bonny Bayingana and Emmanuel Sebanani.
Mali: Yirango Ally, Berthe Germain, Keita Ousmane, Diarra Boubacar, Traore Mahamadou, Traore Youssouf, Traore Adama, Fofana Hamara, Cisse Mahamane, Samba Diallo and Allasane Diallo.
Rwanda vs. Mali
Tanzania vs. Nigeria