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Big first leg win against DR Congo is crucial – Nshuti

Posted on Nov 08 2018

RWANDA’S U23 football team captain, Dominique Savio Nshuti, has appealed to fans to turn up in big numbers when the team take on DR Congo in the first round of the 2019 Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next week at Umuganda Stadium.

Jimmy Mulisa’s side will host their counterparts of DR Congo in the first-leg on November 14 at Umuganda Stadium, a week before the latter welcomes the Olympic Amavubi contingent to Kinshaka in the return-leg clash.

Nshuti, also a former captain for the national U-17 and U-20 teams, has urged his teammates to take the first-leg as a do-or-die affair, and challenged them to look for “not just a win, but, an emphatic win” as they expect a hostile atmosphere in the second-leg.

“We are the new generation, a group of young players who have played together – or against each other – for the last few years. The talent and determination to deliver is there, we should score as many goals as possible and avoid conceding”, Nshuti said on Wednesday.

The Rwanda U23 coach Jimmy Mulisa is confident that his side can eliminate neighbours DR Congo. “We want to win with a big margin in the first-leg so we can travel to Kinshasa for the second-leg game with good cushion. Almost all the boys played together in the U-17 and U-20 national teams and there is a great sense of responsibility and teamwork amongst players – qualifying for the AFCON U-23 finals tournament is possible,” noted Mulisa.

By press time, five foreign-based players had already jetted in ahead of the team’s final residential camp that starts Thursday at Gorilla Hotel in Rubavu District.

The five players include; Derrick Ndahiro (SC Villa, Uganda), Samuel Gueulette (KAA Gent, Belgium), India-based central defender Aimable Nsabimana, and Tunisia-based duo of Innocent Nshuti (Stade Tunisien) and Abeddy Biramahire (CS Sfaxien).

The rest of the summoned players will join camp after the climax of match day five of the Azam Rwanda Premier League which climaxes on Thursday.

The winner between Rwanda and DR Congo will face Morocco in the second round Virgire which will be played in March next year.

The third edition of the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations is scheduled for November 8-22, 2019 in Egypt.

The tournament will determine three African teams that will represent the continent at the 2020 Summer Olympics men’s football tournament in Japan.
editorial@newtimes.co.rw, Additional Reporting: Ferwafa.rw


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