Africa-Press – Rwanda. Amavubi striker Ernest Sugira has pleaded with the national football team fans to back the team as they start their CHAN 2020 campaign on Monday, January 18 against arch-rivals Uganda Cranes.
The APR striker, who is on loan at rivals Rayon Sports, said he and his teammates are aware of how bad their performance have been but is pleading with Rwandans to show some love, something he says will boost confidence in the team.
“We have been reading what is written or said about the national team, but this is the time Rwandans should start believing in us. It’s their national team and their support will do a lot of good for us,” he said.
“We have to share the good and the bad but it’s time for us to change and do better on the pitch and improve and bring back a smile on their faces. We are doing our best to adjust our performances and this is a good opportunity to do it,” he added.
Mashami’s side play Uganda on Monday, January 18, at Stade de la Reunification in Douala and Sugira is confident Rwanda has what it takes to beat their neighbors who have been way better in past meetings.
“We are going to face a tough team which plays with physicality, and is so aggressive in attack. We need to avoid conceding a goal so early and instead play our own game as planned. I am confident we can get three points from them,” said Sugira.
Rwanda is in the same Group C alongside holders Morocco, rivals Uganda and debutants Togo, and Sugira warned that Rwanda are on the right path to finish among the top two teams that can progress from the group stages.
“We are both in a tough group but we are not underdogs. We have 75 per cent chances to progress but only if we win our first game against Uganda. We took time to watch their videos and we know what a tough opponent they are but we aren’t easy to beat either,” he said.
The striker is aware he can again inspire his team to challenge for the title if he replicates the form he had during the CHAN 2016 edition when his three group stage goals qualified then host nation Rwanda to the quarter-finals.
“I had good moments at CHAN 2016, but a lot has changed between now and then. This is an opportunity for me to prove what I am capable of on the pitch but what is important is to help my team get good results,” he vowed.