National football coach Jonathan McKinstry is confident Rwanda will progress past Libya in the forthcoming World Cup qualifying round.
On November 2, the Amavubi Stars tactician unveiled a 23-man squad to face the Libyans in back-to-back clashes for the second of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia qualifiers.
After an away leg at the Taieb Mhiri Stadium in Sfax, Tunisia, at 2:30pm (3:30pm Rwandan time) on November 13, Amavubi will host Libya four days later, on November 17, at the newly renovated Stade de Kigali at 3:30pm.
“We are heading into two crucial matches and we are well aware that a bad start away will hinder our progress to the next round,” McKinstry exclusively to Rwanda Today this week. “But with the team that we have selected, I am confident that we will get positive results.”
Last year, Rwanda beat Libya 3-0 in the earlier round of qualifiers in what can be said to be the North Africans’ heaviest defeat in recent years.
The Briton has recalled the bulk of the squad that did duty in the recent tour of Morocco, where they lost 1-0 to both Tunisia and Burkina Faso.
He added: “Libya is a good side with dangerous players and cannot be taken lightly, but we will be prepared as humanly we can be for the game.”
The provisional Rwanda squad has five foreign-based players — team captain and attacking midfielder Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga, Tanzania), striker Quentin Rushenguziminega (Lausanne Sport), central defender Salomon Nirisarike (St Truiden), left back Abouba Sibomana (Gor Mahia) and defensive midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza (Azam).