The Amavubi have taken 3 points from their opening AFCON 2017 qualifier against Mozambique at the Zimpeto Stadium in Maputo (14 June 2015).
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.
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".
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."
"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
Eric NDAYISHIMIYE Goalkeeper Rayon Sport
Emery BAYISENGE Defender (C) APR
Faustin USENGIMANA Defender (C) Rayon Sports
Michel RUSEHESANGOGA Defender (R) APR
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
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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
Download Pictures (for Media Use)
See www.johnnymckinstry.com/gallery to download pictures for use in press reporting or social media (terms apply)
About Coach McKinstry
Johnny McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach. He was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team from March 2015 - August 2016. Within just 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.
He was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team from April 2013 - September 2014. 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). From Jan 2010 - Dec 2014 he set up and developed the Craig Bellamy Elite Soccer Academy in Sierra Leone - placing elite young players in Europe, Asia and North America. He is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach.
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