Saturday May 23, 2015

Rwanda U23 Vs Uganda Kobs – Amahoro Stadium

@ 3.30pm (Local Time) 4.30 UG Time

Uganda Kobs begin the road to the Africa U23 championship which also doubles as the 2016 Olympic Qualifiers with an away date against neighbors and regional rivals Rwanda.

Rwanda’s journey started way back when they eliminated Somalia 3-1 on aggregate at the first round hurdle thanks to a 2-0 win at home and an away 1-1 draw.

Uganda Cranes Coach who also doubles the Kobs tactician Mulitin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic makes his first return to Kigali since being sacked in April 2013.

Rwanda’s right back Michel Rusheshangoga who got his debut under Micho says the game is a tough one against rivals but says as players, they want to earn victory over their former coach.

It will be a very tough challenge for us because it is a derby but we are ready for the game, we want to win at home, we want our fans to come and support us

Said Rusheshangoga who plies his trade with Rwanda league champions APR according to The Times of Rwanda.

“They (fans) will go home happy; we want to beat our former coach (Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic), we want to win this first game and see what will happen in the second leg, we are confident we can win this game,” he added.

On the other hand, Kobs captain Miya Farouk wants to eliminate Rwanda as part of the amends after failing to inspire the side over Mozambique in the All Africa Games qualifiers.

It’s time to put things right,” he said. “We were disappointed after the Mozambique elimination but that’s now behind us. This is a new task ahead with in an entirely different competition

He added.

On the opponents, the league’s Most Valuable Player for 2014/15 season says they have good players with experience but adds that his side is equally good.

“They have a squad that has played for some time together which gives them experience but we are equally good.”

Rwanda U-23 Team News:

Former Proline midfielder Andrew Buteera is available for selection after missing the Somalia ties due to document issues while Coach Johnny McKinstry has included two foreign based players in Yves Rubasha (USA) and Bonflis Kabanda (Italy).

How they are expected to line up:

APR goalie Olivier Kwizera is expected to start in goal with Michel Rusheshangoga, Emery Bayisenge, Faustin Usengimana and Javier Mutijima completing the back four.

In midfield, Yannick Mukunzi is expected to feature as the anchorman along Buteera in central midfield with Bonflis Kabanda and Djihad Bizimana also in the mix.

Upfront, Dominique Savio Nshuti and Bertrand Iradukunda will lead the hunt for goals.

Man to Watch – Yannick Mukunzi

Micho described him as one of the most talented players on the team for Rwanda.

Mukunzi is a good game reader with the ability to pass long and short and has a knack for scoring important goals as observed against Somalia at Amahor

Probable XI: Olivier Kwizera (GK), Emery Bayisenge, Faustin Usengimana, Michel Rusheshangoga Janvier Mutijima, Yannick Mukunzi, Djihad Bizimana, Bonfils Kabanda, Andrew Buteera, Dominique Savio Nshuti and Bertrand Iradukunda.

Uganda Kobs Team News:

On Thursday, Micho named seven new faces on the team from the one that featured against Mozambique in the All Africa Games Qualifiers. However, only one foreign based player – Jamal Salim was named on the team after the rest failed to show up for one reason or the other.

Miya Farouk is expected to lead the team but a late change may see El Merriekh custodian don the arm band due to his international experience.

How will the Kobs line up at Amahoro?

With Salim expected in goal, Joseph Nsubuga is expected to maintain his slot at right back same as Shafiki Bakaki and Ibrahim Kiyemba whilst SC Victoria University’s Brian Ochwo will play at left back.

In midfield, Vipers’ Keziron Kizito, KCC FC’s Tom Masiko and team captain Farouk Miya are expected with Express’ John Semazzi, Umar Kasumba and Erisha Ssekisambu leading the hunt for goals.

Man to Watch – Keziron Kizito

What the Junior Wasps have in Yannick Mukunzi, Uganda Kobs have in Keziron Kizito. His ball holding and passing is way up there with the best and if used well, Rwanda will be in trouble.

Probable XI:

Jamal Salim (GK), Joseph Nsubuga, Brian Ochwo, Ibrahim Kiyemba, Shafiki Bakiki, Keziron Kizito, Tom Masiko, Miya Farouk, Erisha Ssekisambu, John Semazzi and Umar Kasumba.


 – The winner between Uganda and Rwanda on aggregate face giants Egypt at the next round.

 – Jamal Salim is the only foreign based player in the Uganda Kobs squad. His last game at Amahoro saw him keep a clean sheet as El Merriekh beat APR 1-0 in the finals of Kagame Cup last year

 – Both coaches – Micho (Uganda) and McKinstry (Rwanda) also double as national team tacticians

 – None of Uganda and Rwanda have played at the finals of Olympic games and are seeking their debut appearance.


Despite a decent record against Amavubi overall but have always found it hard to win in Kigali. Even in 1998 when a Magid Musisi hat trick inspired Cranes to a 5-0 victory at Nakivubo, the Amavubi earned a home draw. The U-17 boys however did a double over Rwanda last year and I see the Kobs repeating the feat. Rwanda U23 1-2 Uganda Kobs

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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