Rwanda coach Vincent Mashami has called on his players to forget about the result they picked against Uganda in their opener of the African Nations Championship and focus on their next match against Morocco.
The Amavubi battled to a 0-0 draw against their East African neighbours Uganda in their opening match of Group C played at 18 at Stade de la Reunification in Douala on Monday.
Mashami has, however, termed the result as ‘positive’ considering they have always struggled to beat the Cranes but has now shifted his focus to the next match against Morocco, who beat debutants Togo 1-0 in their opener to take control of the group.
“We tried our best but it wasn’t enough, so now we have to focus on the next game against Morocco, which we have to win,” Mashami said “I have asked the players to show the same spirit and be ruthless if we are to have a chance of winning.”
On the overall display of his team against Uganda, Mashami said: “I believe we still need to do better at creating chances, the chances we did create were the ones that came through a level of buildup play and moving the ball effectively.
“We showed good movement both on the ball and off it in the first and second half, and it’s going to be interesting to sit down and re-watch the game and dissect it.”
The two East African nations were meeting in the competition for the first time, but despite the many chances created, none managed to get the ball in the back of the net.
In the sixth minute, Rwanda had the first chance when the defenders let loose APR forward Jacques Tuyisenge just outside the 18-yard area but the skipper took a shot which did not trouble keeper Charles Lukwago.
In an earlier interview, Uganda coach Johnathan Mckinstry blamed the team’s stalemate against Rwanda on the nerves among his players.
“The first half of the game was really quite frustrating I think the players and for the staff alike. The display was below the level I know. We can play better than we did,” Mckinstry told Goal after the match. “One of the things we deployed at half time is they have to play football, they have to pass the ball.
“I felt maybe it was through a little bit of nervousness you know for a lot of players it was their first time at this level and you know…yes it was an East African derby but it is a new level for them, Chan is a step up just in terms of pressure and so I feel some of the players felt that pressure and they were not willing to play those punchy passes especially into our attacking midfielders.”
Rwanda will face Morocco in the first match of the group on Friday before Uganda come up against Togo.