Many had it billed as the battle of David vs Goliath, Rwanda ranked 78 up against a team 51 spots above us and regarded by many as the best African team currently on paper.
Will talk about the state of the pitch on another day.
On talking to a few colleagues before the game, I was left shocked, in fact bewildered by how many thought our own Wasps were headed for a drubbing at the hands of a team entirely based of players plying their trade in elite leagues.
I wondered if we all looked at the football statistics the same way. Not taking anything away from the performance of Amavubi on the day, I for one expected victory or at worst a draw.
The mere fact that many left satisfied with Rwanda’s performance on the day was a sign to how we have allowed mediocrity to creep into our football souls.
Looking at the African football statistics over the past 8 qualifying campaigns, a 12 percent away win record stands for teams on the continent making Africa second to South America as the continents where it is almost impossible to lose a home match. Taste home defeat in Venezuela and the coach would have no seat on the team bus, but get me right i’m not one to call for Mckinstry’s scalp, at least not yet.
For the Irishman has set a target of 12 points for this AFCON 2017 campaign and looking at the fixture list, two home wins against Mozambique and Mauritius + an away win in Mauritius should do the job, easier said than done.
African football tends to pay no respect to what many of my colleagues and i call elite players because of their club status, it’s for this reason that squads largely made of home based players have gone on to not only shock the so called heavyweights (teams made of foreign based players) but have even gone on to lift the continental prize.
Apart from the Cameroon squads 2000, 2002, Nigeria 2013 and Ivory Coast 2015 the rest of the tournaments have gone on to be won by squads made largely of the David’s (home based players) of this football world.
So could we have done better on Saturday? I think so. Were the Black Stars deserved winners? I think so. But one thing we should not accept as football and sports lovers in Rwanda is mediocrity.
How I wish the Bible story in the book of 1Samuel 17 could have come into fruition, only then I could gladly have loved to embrace the David tag.