AFCON 2017: Rwanda disappointed not to take points from Ghana in AFCON 2017 Qualifier

Rwanda narrowly miss out after Ghana score an 87th minute free kick (AFCON 2017 qualifier, Kigali,  Rwanda,  5 Sep 2015).

Amavubi Match Team [Rwanda Vs Ghana AFCON2017 Qualifier, 5 Sep 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015


Rwanda have narrowly missed out on taking points from their second AFCON2017 qualifier after Ghana scored an 87th minute free kick to win the encounter 1-0.

The game was played today (5 September 2015) in Kigali, Rwanda.


Following Rwanda's 1-0 victory over Mozambique in June, both Rwanda and Ghana had gone into the encounter at the top of Group H on three points. Ghana had started their qualification campaign with with a 7-1 victory over Mauritius in June.

Despite the difference in world rankings (Rwanda currently 78th vs. Ghana who are 27th worldwide) both team appeared evenly matched with possession shared across the two teams.

The game looked to be heading for a certain drawn when Ghana were awarded, and converted an 87th minute free kick from the edge of the box.


Coach McKinstry's Post Match Analysis:

Jacques TUYISENGE [Rwanda Vs Ghana AFCON2017 Qualifier, 5 Sep 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015Speaking after the Match, Coach McKinstry said:

"We are extremely disappointed to come away with no points, from a game in which we felt we had played well and where deserving of at least the draw."

"We restricted Ghana to only 2 shots on target in the entire game, the first one being a very tame effort which didn't trouble the goalkeeper.

"I think that shows that our team shape and organisation is at a good level and if we can carry the performances from this game and the game against Mozambique in June into our next games against Mauritius and Mozambique at home, I believe we will be on course to get to our points target, which should qualify us for AFCON2017.

"Also, It should not be forgotten that the Amavubi are largely a domestic based team and that 6 of our starting eleven were 21 years or under. Today they have held their own against a very experienced team featuring players from across the top clubs in Europe, and who were runners up in the last AFCON tournament."

"I think our performances today and against Mozambique show that the Amavubi are very much on the right track...and that we can expect bigger things from Rwanda in the months and years to come..."



Full time: Head Coaches Avram Grant (Ghana) and Johnny McKinstry (Rwanda) congratulate each other on a good game [Rwanda Vs Ghana AFCON2017 Qualifier, 5 Sep 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015


Rwanda 'Amavubi' Squad 

Starting Eleven 

Emery BAYISENGE Lask Linz (Austria)
Salomon NIRISARIKE Sint-Truidense (Belgium)
Abouba SIBOMANA Gor Mahia (Kenya)
Jean-Baptiste MUGIRANEZA Azam (Tanz)
Haruna NIYONZIMA (Capt) Young Africans (Tanz)
Jacques TUYISENGE Police
Jean-Claude IRANZI APR
Quentin RUSHENGUZIMINEGA Lausanne Sport (Switz)


Faustin USENGIMANA Rayon Sports
Djihad BIZIMANA Rayon Sports
Ernest SUGIRA AS Kigali



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 MAURITIUS away, then at home, both in March 2016.


RWANDA FIXTURES - AFCON 2017 Qualification

  • 12-14 Jun 2015 - Mozambique v Rwanda
  • 5 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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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

  • Johnny McKinstry is one of the most intelligent, level-headed and knowledgeable managers in the game today. Few can match his achievements by the age of 30, and fewer still the success he has enjoyed in the game.

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    These Football Times
  • This is not a man who does things by the book. Having been a coach from the age of 15, McKinstry already has miles on the clock.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
  • 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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