Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire kick off CHAN 2016

Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire kick off CHAN 2016
Locally-based Elephants at training

by BackPageTXT

Friday Jan 15, 2016. 09:35

Tournament hosts Rwanda will face Côte d’Ivoire in Kigali on Saturday, in the opening game of the 2016 African Nations Championship.

It is the Amavubi’s second appearance at the continental event, having suffered a first round exit without earning a single point in Sudan in 2011.

However, the Rwandans, who warmed up to the competition with a 1-1 draw with Cameroon and a 1-0 victory over DR Congo, are determined to shine in front of their home crowd.

“We head back to Kigali with the players in high spirits and in good form. We turn our focus now to our opening game against Ivory Coast,” Amavubi coach Johnny McKinstry said.

“We expect another very difficult encounter, but I can guarantee all Rwandans - we will be ready for it.”

Meanwhile, the Ivoirians are competing at the CHAN for the third time, having failed to progress through the group stage in the maiden edition on home soil in 2009 and in Sudan two years later.

Held by Guinea and defeated by Nigeria during their preparation in South Africa, the Elephants will face a tough challenge on very hostile ground in their Group A opener.

“Our opening game on Saturday will be against the home team Rwanda and so we have to fight against Rwanda as well as the home crowd. I only hope we don’t have to fight against the referee as well,” Côte d’Ivoire boss Michel Dussuyer said.

The match will kick off at Amahoro Stadium at 15h00 CAT on Saturday, with Gabon taking on Morocco in the other Group A opener at 18h00 CAT.

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