The New Times (Kigali)

8 February 2013

Rwanda: Micho Lauds Amavubi Players? Character

Milutin 'MICHO' Sredojovic has praised the character of Amavubi Stars players after Rwanda struck late to deny the Uganda Cranes a memorable victory in the international friendly match played on Wednesday at Amahoro stadium.

Second half substitute Papy Sibomana scored a late equaliser to level the score - 2-2. Saidi Kyeune had put Uganda ahead in the 29th minute before Meddie Kagere restored parity before the break.

Debutant and Gor Mahia striker Daniel Sserunkuma got onto the score sheet from the penalty spot on 67 minutes but Sibomama's strike, with eight minutes to go, meant the tie ended in a stalemate.

Micho said, "We played against a very good side, they gave us a good test of character and I'm happy the players responded to it the best way possible."

"The future is bright for this young team. We did not win which is what we wanted, but there are so many positives picked from this game like the youngster Sibomana, who scored the equalising goal. It will give him and the whole team more confidence," the Serb told Times Sport.

The former SC Villa coach, however, noted that there is a lot of room for his team to make improvements ahead of next month's Fifa World Cup 2014 Brazil qualifier against Mali.

"We are trying our best to improve this team, this is our position and we want to improve and get better results in the future," added Micho.

His Ugandan counterpart Bobby Williamson was disappointed with the performance of his team but lauded Serunkuma, who scored his first goal for Cranes on his debut.

"Even though it was a difficult game, I had an opportunity to look at the players whom I might use for the World Cup qualifier in March," the Scot told an post match news conference.

Improved ranking

The result may help Rwanda rise in the next FIFA rankings from the current 137th position. It was Rwanda's second international friendly draw following last November's 2-2 at home to Namibia, before losing to Angola in December in another friendly. Rwanda's next World Cup qualifier is in Kigali against Mali next month before a return leg in June, while home-based players will take on Ethiopia in the 2014 Chan qualifiers the same month.

Amavubi are placed bottom in Group H of the Brazil World Cup qualifiers and Wednesday's game was aimed at preparing the team ahead of the March 22 clash.

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