AFCON 2017: Rwanda defeat Mozambique 1-0 away in Qualifier

The Amavubi have taken 3 points from their opening AFCON 2017 qualifier against Mozambique at the Zimpeto Stadium in Maputo (14 June 2015).

[Rwanda Amavubi v Mozambique 14 June 2015 (Pic © Darren McKinstry /]Rwanda now lie joint top of Group H with Ghana after one game. Mozambique and Mauritius trail.


The Amavubi made their mark within the first 5 minutes when they played the ball out wide into space ahead of Jacques TUYISENGE who ran on and played a great ball in behind the Mozambique defence, allowing Ernest SUGIRA to place a glancing header just inside the back post for an excellent early start.

The Amavubi remained composed as Mozambique sought to put them under repeated pressure as they looked for the equaliser.

The Amavubi looked for opportunities across the game with a number of shots from distance with strikes from Yannick MUKUNZI and Haruna NIYONZIMA. Ernest SUGIRA and Jean-Claude IRANZI also had efforts from inside the box.

[Rwanda Amavubi v Mozambique 14 June 2015 (Pic © Darren McKinstry /]Defensively, the Amavubi played well and retained a clean sheet. On one occasion in the second half, where Mozambique had been successful in breaking through the defence, fast work from Emery BAYISENGE and Faustin USENGIMANA saw the ball retrieved and cleared from the Amavubi line.


Coach McKinstry's Post Match Analysis:

Speaking after the Match, Coach McKinstry said:

"We are very pleased to get the win today and 3 points to star the campaign. Winning away in Africa is notoriously difficult, and we knew it would be difficult coming down to Maputo. Mozambique are a good team. Our first priority was to keep a clean sheet and to take something back to Kigali"

"We've kept the clean sheet, we've got the goal - both due to lot of hard work from the players"

"It's very pleasing for everyone involved - reflecting all the hard work from the players and technical staff, and positive support from the Amavubi Fans at home and here in Maputo".


[Rwanda Amavubi v Mozambique 14 June 2015 (Pic © Darren McKinstry /]On preparing to face Mozambique:

"We knew that Mozambique were a team that like to play football - a team of technicians who like to play with the ball, who move around the field and who like to switch positions - so we knew we would have to be at our defensive best to keep track of them".

"We also have worked all week on looking forward, on seeking out the opportunities and that came to use very early on - 5 mins into the game we have played the ball into space, got a good cross in, and Ernest SUGIRA has come in and placed a great header in at the back post."


On how the game developed:

"We made a few tweaks at half time - the players had worked hard in the first half but we spoke about the importance of communication to combat the rotation of the Mozambique players."

"We also spoke about supporting each other and ensuring the team played as one. In the final 20 minutes of the second half we saw things come together again and we had a number of good chances"

On the game overall:

"The result is massive in that Rwanda have historically not had a good record away from home. We are not going to win away from home every time but we want to try to maintain clean sheets, and ensure the players continue to work with the sort of intensity they showed today. If we can do that then we are going to pick up points on the road, and secure wins at home."

[Rwanda Amavubi v Mozambique 14 June 2015 (Pic © Darren McKinstry /]"The work rate today was immense. We have good players, but we know we are not yet one of the top top teams - so we know we need to work very hard. In developing the team we continue to work on a developing a very high level of discipline, fitness and team shape. If we can do that, we stand a good chance of upsetting the odds and taking this team forward - the players saw that today."

"We have a good period of time before we face Ghana in September. FERWAFA and the Ministry of sport are committed to developing the team and we have a number of games and training camps planned to allow us to prepare for our next AFCON qualifier and for CHAN in January 2016."




Rwanda 'Amavubi' Squad 

Starting Eleven 

Eric NDAYISHIMIYE Goalkeeper Rayon Sport
Emery BAYISENGE Defender (C) APR
Faustin USENGIMANA Defender (C) Rayon Sports
Abouba SIBOMANA Defender (L) Gor Mahia (Kenya)
Jean-Baptiste MUGIRANEZA Midfielder (D) APR
Yannick MUKUNZI Midfielder (D) APR
Jean-Claude IRANZI Attacker (L) APR
Jacques TUYISENGE Attacker (R) Police
Haruna NIYONZIMA Midfielder (A) Young Africans (Tanz)
Ernest SUGIRA Forward (C) AS Kigali


Olivier KWIZERA Goalkeeper APR
Herve RUGWIRO Defender (C) APR
Eric RUTANGA Defender (L) APR
Djihad BIZIMANA Midfielder (D) Rayon Sports
Andrew BUTEERA Midfielder (A) APR
Patrick SIBOMANA Attacker (L) APR
Michel NDAHINDUKA Forward (C) APR


Match Highlights 

You can click any of the pictures below to see a full screen version of the picture.  You can then also choose to click the play arrow to watch a slide show of all images.

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AFCON 2017 Qualifiers

The Amavubi will face GHANA in September 2015, at home in Kigali, Rwanda.


RWANDA FIXTURES - AFCON 2017 Qualification

  • 12-14 Jun 2015 - Mozambique v Rwanda
  • 4-6 Sep 2015 - Rwanda v Ghana
  • 23-26 Mar 2016 - Mauritius v Rwanda
  • 26-29 Mar 2016 - Rwanda v Mauritius
  • 3-5 Jun 2016 - Rwanda v Mozambique
  • 2-4 Sep 2016 - Ghana v Rwanda



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You can read more about Coach McKinstry's:

About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach, with a number of successes across his 20+ year career to date.    He is currently Head Coach of the Gambia National Team and Head Coach of Gor Mahia FC in Kenya (2022-24) where he won two Kenya Premier League titles (2023-24, 2022-23), and the 2023-24 Kenya Charity Shield, returning the club to the top of Kenyan football.

As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, (2019 - 2021) he led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019 and delivered a win from 2 in every 3 games, going undefeated in 8 in evey 10 games.  This represented the highest 'win' and 'undefeated' rate achieved by a Uganda National Team Coach in over 15 years.

He was Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team (2015-16). Within 17 months he led Rwanda to a number of highs - including their first ever appearance in the knockout stages of a major international tournament (Quarter-finals of CHAN, Jan 2016) and finished runner-up in CECAFA (Dec 2105), being named 'Coach of the Tournament' for his efforts. 

Across 2013-14, he was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team. Within just over a year, he had led Sierra Leone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World (August 2014). 

He has also been Head Coach of Saif Sporting Club, Bangladesh Premier League (2018-19); and FK Kauno Zalgiris, Lithuanian A-Lyga (2017-18).   

Coach McKinstry is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach and a member of Common Goal.

Quotes: What the media say

  • McKinstry has experienced much more than the average coach his age. His career has gone from strength to strength, starting in Northern Ireland and England, then via America to West Africa eventually.

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    Damien Edgar Backpage Football
  • Leone Stars shine with purpose... what is even more remarkable is what the young Northern Irishman has done ... the Leone Stars are ranked 50th in the world and seventh in Africa – higher than they have ever been.

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  • McKinstry has a voracious appetite for football and for learning, he lives and breathes it and his sense of adventure means predicting his next move is not easy.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
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