The Amavubi interim coach Jimmy Mulisa is aiming for a perfect start to his coaching career when he guides Rwanda against Ghana in the final Group H match of the 2017 Africa Nations’ Cup qualifier due on Saturday at Accra Stadium.
The Wasps are out of contention of qualifying for the African football showpiece to be staged in Gabon next year. But Mulisa who was in Rwanda’s squad as a teenager when they lost 4-2 to Ghana in an African qualifier insists they will give their all against the Black Stars.
Despite the loss, Rwanda beat Ghana 1-0 in the return to qualify for their first and only AFCON participation. Uganda was the other contender.
Coincidentally, Mulisa’s first game as interim coach of the Amavubi will be against the Black Stars in the Group G final day clash on Saturday, 3 September 2016 at the same Accra Sports Stadium.
However, there is nothing to play for in the encounter this time as the group has been decided with Ghana qualifying automatically as winners of the group. The Black Stars lead the pack with 13 points, seven more than Rwanda, who have no chance of qualification.
Mulisa, 33, was named replacement for Irishman Johnny McKinstry, who was fired few weeks ago after a string of poor results, and is hoping to end the campaign with some pride.
Amavubi lost the first leg 1-0 after a Mubarak Wakaso late free kick settled matters, but Mulisa who had spells in Belgium, Romania, Kazakhstan and Malaysia during a career that spanned over a decade in Europe, has tasked his players to bow out with their heads high.
“We can’t rule out good results against Ghana. Our objective is to win the match against Ghana. As a coach, am guiding a team of committed players who are ready for anything and I will be grateful if we can revive our football with a win over Ghana,”
“I have told them (the players) that this game can change their lives in football. If they need to be professional players, they need to show their capacity in this game.
“We have players who have been working hard, determined and devoted to ensure that this qualifying match goes well. The mood and spirit in camp is positive,” Mulisa added.
Amavubi leaves for Accra on Friday afternoon aboard Rwandair. The team is scheduled to arrive later at night and will be accommodated at Royal Beach Hotel Accra before taking on the Black Stars on Saturday afternoon at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Mozambique will host Mauritius in the other Group H match in Maputo also on Saturday.