Uganda and Rwanda will face off in their Group C opener of the African Nations Championship in what is seen as the Eastern African derby on Monday.
Uganda’s Johnathan McKinstry will come up against a team he coached in 2016 as he aims to guide the Cranes to the knockout stage for the first time since they made their Chan debut in 2011.
Vincent Mashami, who worked as McKinstry’s assistant before, is in charge of Amavubi who are making their fourth appearance in the competition after beating Ethiopia in the qualifiers.
|Game||Rwanda vs Uganda|
|Date||Monday, January 18, 2021|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In Uganda, the game will be LIVE on StarTimes.
|Uganda TV channel||Online stream|
Outside Uganda, the game will be LIVE on KBC (Kenya) and Azam TV (Tanzania).
|Outside (Uganda) TV channel||Online stream|
|KBC (Kenya) and Azam TV (Tanzania)||NONE|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Yves Kimenyi, Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye, Olivier Kwizera, Umar Rwabugiri.|
|Defenders||Thierry Manzi, Ange Mutsinzi, Hervé Rugwiro, Aimable Nsabimana, Fitina Omborenga, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Eric Rutanga, Claude Niyomugabo, Faustin Usengimana, Bayisenge Emery.|
|Midfielders||Olivier ‘Seif’ Niyonzima, Eric Ngendahimana, Martin Fabrice Twizeyimana, Eric Nsabimana, Jean Bosco Ruboneka, Djabel Manishimwe, Dominique Savio Nshuti, Rachid Kalisa.|
|Forwards||Lague Byiringiro, Ernest Sugira, Danny Usengimana, Bertrand Iradukunda, Osée Iyabivuze, Justin Mico, Jacques Tuyisenge, Muhadjiri Hakizimana.|
When he picked his final squad, Mashami surprised many after he dropped Police FC’s Patrick Sibomana and Ally Serumogo of SC Kiyovu.
His squad was also dominated by APR players who had participated in the Caf Champions League and were eliminated by Gor Mahia in the preliminary round.
AS Kigali were also saliently represented although their players joined camp late after eliminating Uganda’s KCCA FC in the Confederation Cup’s first round.
Probable XI for Rwanda: Kwizera, Mutsinzi, Usengimana, Bayisenge, Niyomugabo, Ruboneka, Nsabimana, Hakizimana, Tuyisenge, Mico, Sugira.
|Goalkeepers||Lukwago Charles, Mutakubwa Joel, Alionzi Legason Nafian, Ikara Tom.|
|Defenders||Hassan Muhamud, Kayondo Abdu Aziizi, Mujuzi Mustafa, Ssenjobe Eric, Iguma Denis, Willa Paul, Lwaliwa Halid, Mbowa Paul Patrick.|
|Midfielders||Mawejje Tonny, Kagimu Shafik Kuchi, Anukani Bright, Kyeyune Saidi, Byaruhanga Bobosi, Watambala Abdu Karim.|
|Forwards||Ojera Joakim, Brian Aheebwa, Ocen Ben, Viane Ssekajugo, Orit Ibrahim, Muhammad Shaban, Karisa Milton.|
Since the 2019/20 Ugandan Premier League top scorer Steven Mukwala was dropped from the final squad, McKinstry is expected to field either Brian Aheebwa of KCCA or Viane Ssekajugo of Wakiso Giants to help get goals for the Cecafa champions.
The Cranes experienced an impressive build-up ahead of the tournament, drawing 1-1 with Cameroon, beating Zambia and Niger 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Probable XI for Uganda: Lukwago, Ssenjobe, Iguma, Mbowa, Lwaliwa, Byaruhanga, Mawejje, Anukani, Ssekajugo, Orit, Aheebwa.
Uganda and Rwanda have met 32 times since they first faced off on September 21 in 1986 and the Cranes have emerged victorious in 14 matches while eight have ended in draws.
The last encounter between the two nations was in 2017 in Kigali during the Chan qualification campaign, where Rwanda won 2-0, but Amavubi were eliminated because the Cranes had won 3-0 in Kampala.
The Eastern African rivals have mostly clashed in Cecafa competitions and international friendlies and have also met on four occasions during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Uganda coach McKinstry believes they will face their neighbours with only one thing in mind; to win the game.
“I have an emotional attachment with Rwanda. I was head coach of Rwanda in 2016. We have one objective-when we play Rwanda-winning will be on our mind,” the tactician told Fufa’s website.
“The historical relationship will be put aside. If it is not playing against Uganda, I have always wanted Rwanda to do well. It is a big East African derby.”
“We need to play our cards very well, maintain the discipline on the field of play, help each other together so that we can win and get a morale booster,” Mashami said on his part.
McKinstry will come up against his former employers Rwanda for the first time since leaving the job about three years ago, during which he enjoyed great success with Amavubi in 2016 when he led hosts Rwanda to the quarter-finals of Chan.
After featuring in three past editions, Rwanda have only made it past the group stage once, when the country hosted the tournament in 2016.