Mozambique/Rwanda: Mckinstry Confident of Win Against Mozambique

Amavubi coach Johnathan McKinstry has maintained that his primary objective for Saturday’s penultimate 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against visitors Mozambique is victory.

The national football team host Mambas of Mozambique on Saturday at Amahoro Stadium in a must-win Group H encounter of the 2017 Africa Nations’ Cup qualifier.

Amavubi are looking forward to the maximum points to complete a double over Mozambique and boost their chances of a second participation at the flagship continental championship. Rwanda’s only appearance at the AFCON was in 2004.

Speaking on Friday at Ferwafa headquarters, McKinstry said that Rwanda is ready to battle for maximum points in bid to maintain the country’s qualification hopes.

“It’s an important game because we need to get the three points from the game and if we can do that, we will put ourselves in a very good position to go forward and try to seal our qualification,” he said.

“This whole week has been about performance – can we put on a performance that we know we are capable of? We saw players do that last year against Mozambique and Ghana, although we didn’t get the result, and in CHAN and other games. So it’s always about how players can play to their maximum, individually and as a team hit 10/10 performances – if they can do that, then the result will take care of itself and that has been the message this week to the players,” McKinstry added.

He also pointed out that he can field almost the best squad. “Almost everybody is fully fit and ready to go. Thankfully Ernest Sugira trained today, although he is still feeling a little bit of residual pain and we will assess him tonight to find out he will be considered for tomorrow’s game.”

“There is a lot of competition for places and I think there is going to be a number of people that will be very disappointed not to find themselves in the starting 11, or even the 18,” the national coach continued. “Because even today there are some players that were not in the team recently but who honestly deserve so at the moment based on their performances, so there are some difficult decisions to be made ahead of the game but we know whoever does go out into the game will be ready for it.”

“It’s been a good week in training, the players have recovered their energy levels, everyone played a lot of football recently – be it local players or our foreign-based ones – so they are all in good shape and I think we are ready for the game tomorrow, looking forward to the kick-off,” McKinstry said

‘Big lesson’

Skipper Haruna Niyonzima was equally confident.

“We have to give our best against Mozambique. Winning this game will give us more confidence and a better chance of qualifying. We have a good chance to earn the points. We made a mistake against Mauritius but this time we don’t have to slip,” said the 27-year-old who plays for Tanzania champions Young Africans.

“We have to be at our best against Mozambique. We lost the friendly game against Senegal but that’s big lesson for us. We are ready for the challenge ahead of us now,” Niyonzima remarked. “Against Mozambique, we need to be more focused, determined and also believe that we have the ability not only to beat them but also to qualify.”

Source: Rwanda Focus.