The New Times (Kigali)

30 November 2012

Rwanda/Eritrea: It's a Must Win

RWANDA'S Amavubi Stars must defeat the Red Sea boys of Eritrea today in the last and decisive Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup Group B match at Lugogo grounds to be sure of a place in the knock-out stage.

Rwanda beat Malawi 2-0 in the opening match on Monday before losing to Zanzibar 1-2 in the second game on Thursday at Nambooole stadium.

Head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic blamed the Zanzibar loss to the bad weather, and a water logged pitch which affected his team.

"The pitch was in a deplorable state but I will not dwell in it since our opponents also played on the same pitch. Our opponents [Zanzibar] adjusted to the conditions better than we did,"

"We have to pick the pieces quickly and go back to the drawing board by taking notes of our mistakes that will give us ample time to reflect in our next match against Eritrea which we will treat like a final," Micho told Times Sport after the match.

But the Serb has vowed to do everything to get the needed result in the last game. "We need to win the last game. We are going into Saturday's game with one thing on mind which is to win."

He added, "If we get a draw its not too bad but we don't need calculations, we need to go all out and for sure, it's going to be a do or die game for us, I have already told the players." he said.

Amavubi face Eritrea which has exhibited good ball artistry despite drawing 0-0 with Zanzibar and losing narrowly against Malawi 2-3.

Both Rwanda and Eritrea last met in 2014 World cup qualifiers last year and Amavubi emerged the winner after a 4-2 goal aggregate.

However, as they seek to put revenge on the horn of Africa nation, Micho's team should be extra cautious and contain Eritrean trio of Miciam Mhone, Yosief Ghide and Hermon Tecleab who are pivotal in Eritrean's defence.

Zanzibar's 2-1 victory over Rwanda threw Group B open but the Amavubi know they will qualify with a victory in their final group game against Eritrea.

Meanwhile, organisers have desperately sought alternative grounds for today's action to give the Namboole venue a much needed rest and patch-up before knock-out fixtures next week.

Hardly adequate grounds at Lugogo and Wankulukuku will host the Saturday matches and television partners, SuperSport International will bring the "live" action from Lugogo.

After two rounds of matches, Zanzibar are Group C leaders with four points, while second-place Rwanda boasts of three points - the same as Malawi, who narrowly beat Eritrea 3-2.

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