Rwanda’s Amavubi will face Mozambique’s Mambas in Johannesburg on Thursday, June 2 in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The match promises plenty of action, with both teams looking for the perfect start in the qualifiers as they hope to clinch one of the Group L tickets to the tournament scheduled for Ivory Coast next year.
Rwanda and Mozambique have faced each other for the past two years with the two teams having two wins, two losses and one draw.
Both teams have superb individual players who can decide the outcome of the match and Times Sport looks at five of them.
Antoine Dominique Ndayishimiye
The Police FC striker has been in superb form in the Rwandan premier league, scoring six goals in his last five games in all competitions at club level.
Ndayishimiye, who got his first call-up at Amavubi, could be coach Carlos Alos’ secret weapon to sting the Mambas. He has real predatory instincts and his partnership with Muhadjiri Hakizimana has been superb on the home front.
If Ndayishimiye can take his form at Police FC in the national team, expect him to be the deciding factor against the Mambas.
Reinaldo Isnard Mandava
The Atletico Madrid left-back is currently the biggest player in the Mozambican team.
A very quick defender, Reinaldo’s greatest strengths are his ability to get into the opposing zone and whip incisive crosses as well as his ability to play through the middle.
He’s seen it all on football’s biggest stages with Benfica, Lille as well as Atletico Madrid and a lot will depend on him if the Mambas are to get the results they need.
He is the most experienced player in the Amavubi roster and the veteran striker enters the qualifiers having scored seven goals for Simba SC in Tanzania despite not having started many games.
Kagere is very effective in front of goal and all it takes is a good serve to put the ball in the back of the net.
The 35-year-old striker can propel Amavubi to victory in a single magical moment.
The Sporting Lisbon winger is the future star of the Mozambican national team. He scored on his senior national team debut against Mauritius and followed that up last year with a goal in the Mamba’s 3-1 loss to Cameroon in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Catamo can play on both flanks and on any day he is a tough customer for defenders as he has pace, power, can dribble, score and also assist.
One of the naturally gifted players in the Rwandan team, Hakizimana can play anywhere in attack and also on the wings although his best position seems to be behind the striker.
Hakizimana’s partnership with Ndayishimiye at Police FC was the best in the league and if both players start against the Mambas, expect the former to invent the game-changing moments.
He is a versatile player who can score and score goals.