Focus shifts to Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup after WC exit

Friday November 20 2015

By BRIAN MUGUME, RT Special Correspondent

Following their disappointing exit from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday, Amavubi Stars have now put their sights on the 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, which gets under way in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from November 21 to December 5.

Amavubi, who last won the regional championships in 1999 in Kigali, start their campaign against Ethiopia on November 21 before meeting Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Stars three days later. Their last group game will be against Somalia in Hawassa.

Rwanda head coach Johnathan McKinstry said: “We are grouped with Ethiopia and Tanzania, both of whom we have had good results against this year, and Somalia, whom we played with the Under-23 team.

“So, we have a good record against all our opponents. We expect each match to provide a good test for us; especially against the hosts. We expect a tough game in front of the home crowd.”

The annual tournament will be played in the three cities of Awassa, Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa.

Defending champions Harambee Stars of Kenya defeated Sudan in the final of the 2013 edition to lift the trophy. The regional tournament was not held last year after Ethiopia withdrew from hosting the event.

Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia were all knocked out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers on November 17.

In Kigali, Rwanda lost 3-1 after a brace from Mohamed Elmonir and a goal from Mohamed Ghanodi proving to be enough to send Libya into the third round 4-1 on aggregate having won the first leg 1-0 in Tunisia last Friday.

In Blida, Tanzania registered their biggest loss this year, a crushing by Algeria, while Republic of Congo triumphed over Ethiopia after a fantastic tussle. The Red Devils won their second leg 2-1 to go through 6-4 on aggregate.

Uganda is the only country in the region that went into the third round. Their Serbian coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic-led side humiliated West African giants Togo 4-0 on aggregate following a resounding 3-0 victory in Kampala last week.