Uganda and Rwanda will rekindle their football rivalry on foreign soil in a tournament hosted by Cameroon.
It is well documented that football battles between the two sides are always full of intensity, emotions, beautiful football and any other ingredients that make a classic derby.
From the CECAFA region to the Total CHAN 2020 tournament, expect fireworks for the Group C encounter at the Reunification Stadium in Douala on Monday night (8pm Local time, 10pm in Uganda).
‘Every game is important. Every game is massive. If we play to our maximum level, we shall get the results we want. The CHAN tournament is where things can change very quickly. We believe we have players who can cause problems to our opponents in the group. First, let us get 3 points and continue planning for other matches’ said Uganda Cranes Head coach Johnathan McKinstry.
McKinstry will come up against his former employers Rwanda for the first time since leaving the job about 3 years ago. During his period as coach of Amavubi Stars, he enjoyed great success in 2016 when he led hosts Rwanda to the Quarterfinals of CHAN.
‘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 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’ said McKinstry on his reunion ahead of the Uganda vs Rwanda match on Monday.
‘It is widely known that Uganda hasn’t been able to get out of the group stages of CHAN. To me it is an anomaly with the kind of quality players Uganda produces. We want to be here till the final weekend of CHAN’ Mckinstry noted as he elaborated on why Uganda has not been able to get out of the group stages.
‘We feel we know their strengths. However we are making sure we cover up for that in our training sessions. It is really not about doing anything new but focusing on one or two specific areas of our style of play that will bring maximum benefit to the entire team for good results’ said McKinstry.
‘It is a big derby to start the tournament against Rwanda. Both countries are rivals. It is important for the players to know it is not about three points in the tournament but local bragging rights. Eighteen of the players played for me a couple of years ago. It is an experienced squad and hopefully my knowledge of the squad can get the results everyone at home and here are looking for’ noted McKinstry.
McKinstry says that his Squad has qaulities to get results off their group opponents
‘We believe the preparations done by the team have mirrored in what we had initially planned even before the camp was cancelled in March. We have achieved 90-95% success with our preparations.
We are continuing to climb the mountain we have set for ourselves as we know if we reach the top of it, we can be successful’ noted McKinstry.
Team Captain Halid Lwaliwa says the team can make it out of the group.
‘I am glad to be here. I am also happy that the team qualified for the CHAN Finals. It has always been a dream for me and the players on the team play in this tournament. I think we can make it from the group stages. I have not watched any matches of Rwanda in action but we know their players from the U20, U23 and other National teams as we have been able to face off in the past against them. This team has been together for long. We believe we can go all the way’
Team Captain Halid Lwaliwa says his teammates are enjoying every moment in Cameroon and have confidence to deliver.
CHAN 2020 MATCHES
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