Rwanda: What Chance Does Rwanda Stand to Qualify for Afcon Finals Again?


The national football team, Amavubi, face an uphill task this month as they prepare for two must-win fixtures against Mozambique and Cameroon to stand a chance for a ticket to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

Should, against all odds, Amavubi pull it off, Rwanda could end a 17-year wait to return to the continent’s biggest football showpiece. Cameroon will host the tournament early next year.

Vincent Mashami, who penned a one-year contract extension last week to remain as head coach, has summoned a 31-man provisional squad that began training on Monday, March 8. The team trains twice a day at Kigali Stadium and is camping at La Palisse Hotel Nyamata.

Mashami, whose side sits bottom of Group F, knows that his chances of guiding Amavubi to AFCON hang on how they will fare during the next two decisive fixtures in the qualifiers when they host Mozambique in Kigali on March 24 before visiting leaders Cameroon a week later.

After four matches, Rwanda has only picked up two points, two adrift of second and third-placed Cape Verde and Mozambique, respectively, and giants Cameroon who have 10 points.

What chances does Rwanda stand?

Mashami and his boys have a mountain to climb. For Rwanda to qualify, it does not only require Amavubi to win both remaining matches, but it will also depend on results from Cape Verde and Mozambique’s fixtures.

Home victory on March 24 would lift Rwanda above Mozambique on the table with five points, and home defeat for Cape Verde against Cameroon will see Mashami’s side climb to second.

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