Rwanda/Senegal: Amavubi Aiming to Sting Senegal in Final Afcon Qualifier

9 September 2023

Rwanda will be hoping for a consolation win against a second string of Senegalese team when the two sides face off in the final Group L game of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers at Huye Sports Stadium on Saturday, September 9.

The Teranga Lions have already booked their place in January AFCON competition and any outcomes in Huye will have no bearing on their position.

Rwanda is also out of race for a ticket to Cote d'Ivoire and they will only be playing for pride.

The first leg encounter between the two teams in Dakar on June 7, 2022, was keenly contested as a 98th minute penalty from Sadio Mane won the day for Senegal.

Senegal Assistant Malick Daf will be giving instructions from touchline in Huye in absence of head coach Aliou Cisse who didn't travel with the team just like his senior players like Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy among others.

Prior to the match, Daf pointed out that the game will give their up and coming players the chance to prove themselves.

"This match is a source of motivation for the young players who are knocking on the door of the A team," Daf said during the pre-match Press Conference on Friday.

"It's a unique chance for them to replace the As. All the players are super motivated and everything is going very well.

"We will have to make the right match. A message for the Senegalese people? May he support this team which is the future of Senegalese football. Together we will win."

Rwandan midfielder Simeon Iradukunda also in an interview with Times Sports stressed that, for some players like him, a match against the champions of Africa is a special occasion for them to prove their mettle and stake a claim in the team.

"For my second Amavubi call-up, after not making the cut the first time, my expectations are filled with determination," Iradukunda told Times Sport.

"I'm eager to prove my worth and contribute to the team's success against Senegal.

"It's a chance to showcase my growth, dedication, and commitment to earning my place in the squad."

Rwanda also did not invite the likes of teenager Hakim Sahabo, Rafael York, Emmanuel Imanishimwe and a couple of others who have been very consistent in the team throughout the qualifiers.

But they still have skipper Djihad Bizimana, and Striker Gilbert Mugisha who can propel the team to victory.

Senegal will be no pushovers despite coming with a second string side as the likes of Cheikh Sabally, Papa Amadou, and Demba Diop are budding talents already tipped for greatness.

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