Constantine hopes to make changes against Congo in second leg

2015 Afcon qualifiers

August 2

Rwanda vs. Congo

Mauritania vs. Uganda

Kenya vs. Lesotho

Mozambique vs Tanzania

Amavubi head coachStephen Constantine is planning to make changes in his team which will face Congo Brazzaville in the second leg of the 2015 Africa Nations’ Cup qualifiers.

Rwanda suffered a major setback as they conceded two second half goals against Congo on Sunday in their first tie of the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers.

The two sides entered the break on a goalless draw, paving the way for a possible upset from the visitors, but AC Léopards midfielder CésaireGandzé finally broke the deadlock in the 70th minute for the Red Devils.

And Bulgaria-based forward FéréboryDoré sealed the victory for the home side with less than ten minutes to go.

With those two unanswered goals, Coach Claude Leroy’s men have done their job before a very tricky trip to Kigali on August 2 for the return leg, and have all the cards in hand to reach the final round of qualifiers.

Amavubi must now score three times without conceding to keep alive their hopes of a second AFCON finals after their first ever appearance in Tunisia in 2004.

While commenting on the 2-0 loss, Constantine said that a combination of things led to the poor start in this qualification round.

“We didn’t start very well; obviously we expected Congo to put on us a lot of pressure from the first whistle which they did.

“They had a lot of high balls for 65 minutes. They didn’t have any clear cut opportunity, so from that the point of view, we did okay but we just didn’t get the ball down and play as we did against Libya

“We kept playing long balls and I don’t why because we had discussed this and our aim was to try and keep the ball down and try to play. Two individual errors cost us dearly and we can’t afford to make those errors against anybody,”

“In the return leg, there won’t be wholesale changes because of two individual mistakes. We don’t have a big pool of players to select from, so we just need to tighten up a little bit from making silly mistakes and try not to repeat those mistakes,”

“The first leg is over but if we can get an early goal in Kigali, then we have a chance and I think we do have a chance back in Kigali but it will not be easy for the players but we will try to repair a few things and look to attack them,” he added.

Big loss

Amavubi will play the return leg without injured goal keeper Jean Claude Ndoli who suffered a knee injury on Sunday.

Constantine said, “It’s a big concern that we have lost main goalkeeper Ndoli. I don’t know how long he will be out but am pretty sure, he won’t be available for the game against Gabon and Congo.

“We have a very small national team squad and any injury we get will be very difficult for us but Jean Luc Ndayishimiye is there to take the opportunity and prove that he can be the number one keeper,” added the former Malawi and Sudan tactician.

But it is still a long way to Morocco for the two sides, as the overall winners of this round will have to battle with South Africa, Nigeria and Sudan for one of the two qualifying spots in Group A.