Constantine eyes Rwanda breakthrough
© AFP

Rwanda coach Stephen Constantine hopes his second home match in charge will be as successful as the first.

His Wasps host Congo this weekend with a place in the 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations group stage at stake. The Congolese lead 2-0 from the first leg of the third round qualifier through Cesaire Gandze and Ferebory Dore goals.

England-born Constantine debuted as Rwanda handler last month and the central Africans shocked Libya 3-0 in Kigali. A similar scoreline would see Rwanda join title-holders Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan in Group A for the September-November mini-league phase.

The 51-year-old former coach of Malawi, Sudan, India and Nepal told the Rwandan media an early goal would greatly boost hopes of overtaking Congo.

"We have a chance if we can score early," said the coach who exchanged top-flight Cypriot club football for a national team ranked 109 in the world. "There will not be wholesale changes from the first leg because our player pool is small.

"Individual errors cost us dearly in Congo and we must tighten up, cut out silly mistakes and follow instructions. There were too many high and long balls in the first leg - I want the ball kept on the ground," he stressed.

While Constantine sits in one Stade Nyamirambo dugout, veteran African campaigner Claude Le Roy will occupy the other. Frenchman Le Roy guided Cameroon to the Cup of Nations title 26 years ago and most recently was in charge of Congo DR at the 2013 tournament.

The Red Devils' last appearance was in 2000 and hopes of overall success over Rwanda have been boosted by the availability of Europe-based midfielders Delvin N'Dinga and Prince Oniangue. They were among many players not freed by clubs for the first leg two weeks ago because the fixtures do not fall on official FIFA international dates.

Kenya seek reversal at home
Kenya suffered badly with goalkeeper Arnold Origi and midfielders John Omollo and Ayub Timbe missing a 1-0 defeat in Lesotho. But Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama from English Premier League outfit Southampton played and officials expect him to also feature in the return match.

Originally set for Nakuru, 160 kilometres north-west of Nairobi, the game has been moved to Nyayo Stadium in the capital. Belgium-born Kenya coach Adel Amrouche must watch from the main stand as he is serving a one-year ban for spitting at the fourth official in an earlier qualifier.

Lesotho are desperate to improve a Cup of Nations record of scoring only once during 11 consecutive away losses.

Botswana are battling to finance the trip to Guinea-Bissau having built a 2-0 lead courtesy of a Lemponye Tshireletso first-half brace. "We have worked so hard to get this far and I would be gutted if we cannot travel," said England-born coach Peter Butler.

Tanzania were the lone first-leg hosts not to win, but Dutch coach Mart Nooij believes he can overcome former team Mozambique despite a 2-2 first-leg stalemate. "No one gave us a chance in Zimbabwe and we scored twice to draw. The battle with Mozambique is far from over," he stressed.

Uganda take a 2-0 lead to Mauritania, Sierra Leone travel to the Seychelles with a similar advantage, and Benin visit Malawi leading 1-0 thanks to a Stephane Sessegnon goal.