The Super Eagles must find a way past the stubborn Amavubi who have lost by four-goal margins in their last two away matches
Oboabona, Oshaniwa, Egwueke, Ambrose
Lawal, Gabriel, Uzoenyi
Utaka, I. Uche, Moses
Bayisenge, Gasana, Twagizimana, Nahimana
Niyonzima, Iranzi, Mugiraneza, Birori
Rwanda's national team, known as the Amavubi, are in Nigeria to try and do the impossible – beat the Super Eagles in Calabar, where they have never lost or succumbed to a score draw, which is more probable since the Nigerian team has scored an average of a goal in each of their last two competitive matches. The first leg in February ended 0-0, and another goalless encounter over 90 minutes and extra time will take the tie to penalties.
In the first leg in February, the Wasps led by Milutin Sredojevic, showed no fear and tactically got it right against a fledgling team under Stephen Keshi. But since that time, there has been some chopping and changing.
Now the team is getting better coordinated with the players that have been called up, and the team is better rounded. So the challenge that faces Rwanda will be much steeper in Calabar against a team that has threatened to score a basketful of goals, but may finally come good on Saturday.
Two weeks ago, the Amavubi were pummelled 4-0 in Algiers and also in a friendly match earlier in the year lost 5-1 to Tunisia which says a great deal about their away record. So the Eagles must go for an early goal to kill whatever morale is left in their opponents.
There can be no excuses from Keshi and his boys and the strikers must find their scoring touch, especially Ikechukwu Uche, who spurned many gilt-edged chances against Namibia two weeks ago.
Raheem Lawal is expected to replace Nwankwo Obiorah, who played below par against Malawi last week. Keshi might introduce Elderson Echiejile for more forward movement down the left wing. The Rwandans will be relying heavily on their record goal scorer Olivier Karekezi to take any chances that will be offered by the Eagles defenders.
But many seem to believe that this Eagles team are going to beat a team comprehensively very soon and that fate might just have fallen on the Rwandans.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The Wasps of Rwanda have never beaten the Super Eagles.
- Ikechukwu Uche has scored 16 goals for Nigeria in 37 appearances.
- Nigeria is ranked 60th in the world by Fifa compared to Rwanda’s 119th place ranking.
- Vincent Enyeama is celebrating a decade as a Super Eagles player.
- Rwandan coach, Milutin Sredojevic has worked in six African countries.
- Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi represented the Eagles for 13 years.
- Olivier Karekezi has scored 24 goals for Rwanda.