APR Fc left back Emmanuel Imanishimwe has been summoned to Amavubi team as a replacement for suspended Djihad Bizimana ahead of the return leg of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) finals play-off qualifier against Ethiopia.
Rwanda hosts Ethiopia in the return leg of the Total Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) Play-off scheduled to be staged at Stade de Kigali on Sunday.
Rwanda’s head coach Antoine Hey said on Tuesday that Imanishimwe had been called to replace Bizimana as Amavubi resume training today at Stade de Kigai.
Without Bizimana in Sunday’s return leg tie, Coach Antoine said that he has no reasons for concern he has options in Ally Niyonzima (AS Kigali) and Amran Nshimiyimana (APR Fc) who can be relied on to fill the void.
Imanishimwe who is returning back to fitness following an injury sustained three weeks ago with his club APR Fc during the Azam Rwanda premier league was pivotal for Rwanda when they beat Uganda 2-0 in the return leg of the final qualification match in August but lost out 2-3 on aggregate to bow out.
Bizimana picked his second yellow card on Sunday which followed the one he had picked during the return leg against Uganda hence had to be ruled out of the upcoming return leg against Ethiopia.
Besides Imanishimwe, other new players in camp include; MAxime Sekamana (APR Fc), Rugwiro Herve (APR Fc), Nizeyimana Mirafa (Police Fc), Nizeyimana Djuma (SC Kiyovu), Amran Nshimiyimana (APR Fc) and Kimenyi Yves (APR Fc)
Meanwhile, Rwanda team captain Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye has warned that it is not over yet as the country looks to seal a ticket to next year’s finals tournament in Morocco.
Ndayishimiye cautioned that the win in the first leg was a job half done. “We registered a win away in Addis Ababa and we’re happy we got it, but the job is not finished yet, we are going to prepare for the second leg in the best way possible, it’s not over yet, anything can happen in Kigali,”
In the first leg, Girma Aschalew gave Ethiopia the lead in the 18th minute but Rayon Sports left-back Eric Rutanga equalised for Amavubi with a wonderful free kick in the 55th minute.
The Wallias restored their lead in the 65th minute through Abubakher Sanni but APR attacking midfielder Muhajiri Hakizimana, who came on as a second half substitute, leveled again for Rwanda in the 78th minute before Police FC striker Abeddy Biramahire clinched the winner two minutes later.
The away victory boosted chances of Rwanda to qualify for the finals of Africa’s second biggest international competition, which is reserved for players, who feature in their respective domestic leagues. The draw for the finals tournament is scheduled for November 17 in Morocco and the finals tournament will run from January 12 to February 4 next year.
Amavubi only need a draw in second leg to book their ticket to Morocco. The winner over the two legs will join Uganda and Sudan as representatives of the CECAFA region.
Rwanda took part in the 2011 edition held in Sudan, before hosting the 2016 edition when they reached the quarter-final round, losing to eventual winners DR Congo.