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Rwanda launch Cecafa campaign against Kenya in Kakamega

Posted on Dec 03 2017

Rwanda’s Amavubi team begin their quest for the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup title ambition today when they meet hosts Kenya at the newly refurbished Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

Kick-off for today’s Group A crucial tie is at 2pm (1pm Kigali time). The second Group A match between Libya and Tanzania Mainland will be staged at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos at 4pm (3pm Kigali time).

Rwanda under the tutelage of Antoine Hey arrived in Kenya on Friday night then flew to Kisumu on Saturday before taking a bus ride to Kakamega where the clash against Kenya will set the tournament rolling.

It will be a battle between familiar foes with the hosts looking to revenge a last edition quarterfinal drubbing that ended their title ambitions.

Rwanda has a squad of players purely from the Azam Rwanda Premier League and is poised to use the tournament as a yardstick for next year’s Africa Nations Championships.

Today’s encounter will be a match Amavubi coach Antoine Hey will be looking forward to getting a result from his former employers.

Speaking to media on Friday before departing to Kenya, head coach Hey said, “The game against Kenya is the key for the tournament for us, we have to make sure that we ready and give our best to get three points so that we can be on safe side. It will be tough for sure as we are playing against home side but we have prepared in all ways,”

Rwanda has a not-so-good record against Kenya, winning five of the past 17 meetings while losing eight and drawing four.

He further noted that, “Winning the opening match will give us motivation to do better in the next matches. We are in a tricky group but we have to keep our heads up.”

With Harambee Stars coach Put yet to fully study his charges, expectations are sky high that experienced members of Harambee Stars playing unit may earn starting berths.

Put will have a selection headache right from the word go with the goalkeeping trio pf goalkeepers Boniface Oluoch, Gabriel Andika and Patrick Matasi having impressed for their clubs in the just concluded SportPesa Premier League.

Speaking to Kenyan media on Saturday, Put said, “Of course Rwanda is a strong team with quality players.

“They have qualified for Chan, so I expect them to come with their best local-based players. But I believe we are well prepared and the matches will give us an opportunity to test the level of our players,”

“We are trying to get a balanced team on the pitch and see how far we can go. Although my focus is on 2019 AFCON, we will try to give our best and make Kenyans happy,” added Put.

The Amavubi avenged their 2013 quarterfinal 1-0 defeat to Kenya two years ago when they edged Harambee Stars 5-3 on post-match penalties at the same stage in Ethiopia before losing to the hosts in the final. Kenya had also suffered another heartbreak in 1999 when Rwanda’s second string side beat Harambee Stars 3-1 to lift the regional title.

Cecafa Challenge Cup Kenya 2017
Sunday: Group A

Kenya vs Rwanda 1pm
Libya vs Tanzania 3pm

Photo Credit: Midfielders Yannick Mukunzi and Muhadjir Hakizimana vie for the ball during training. Rwanda begin the 2017 CECAFA campaign against Kenya today. Newtimes photo
Source: Ferwafa.rw

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