Rwanda exit World Cup 2018 qualifiers

Rwanda have exited the 2018 World Cup qualifiers following a defeat to Libya in Kigali (17 November 2015).

[Rwanda Vs Libya World Cup 2018 Qualifier, 17 Nov 2015.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015]


Despite going into half time tied 1-1, following an equaliser by Jacques Tuyisenge, the final score was 3-1 in Libya’s favour.


Speaking after the match Amavubi Coach McKinstry said:

“Libya are to be congratulated. We knew they would be hungry... their players gave their all and came away with the victory. While we controlled large parts of the game, we still do not have the killer instinct in front of goal, and some individual mistakes allowed Libya to capitalise and ultimately cost us a victory."

"These are problems that have for a long time limited Rwanda’s ability to progress and both I and Ferwafa know that while we are moving in the right direction, it will take time to correct.” 

“In the second half, we came out looking to press hard, but an individual error helped Libya score the second goal.”



[Rwanda Vs Libya World Cup 2018 Qualifier, 17 Nov 2015.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015]Despite going 2-1 down, the Amavubi pushed hard and made a number of efforts on the Libyan goal.

“Our team shape and passing has improved markedly over recent months, and this allowed the Amavubi to press the Libyan defence and goalkeeper a number of times. However work is still required to improve our focus and intensity."

"We also know all too well that mistakes that go unpunished in the Rwandan league are seized upon at international level.”

Libya’s final goal came in the closing minutes, benefiting from a deflection which spun the ball beyond the reach of Amavubi keeper Olivier Kwizera, when the Amavubi had thrown everything forward in an attempt to re-balance the scoresheet.

[Rwanda Vs Libya World Cup 2018 Qualifier, 17 Nov 2015.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015]


Asked about the players performance Coach McKinstry said:

“They are a good group of players. The best in Rwanda and the best available that I can call. That said, both Ferwafa and I are clear on the need to further develop the player pool. President Nzamwita has made clear his long term plans, including talent development. I also continue to scout the league in Rwanda, and abroad, for new talent. I would clearly also want to be able to call players like Meddie Kagere, who are scoring regularly in top leagues, but that is not within my control.”


On next steps, Coach McKinstry was clear:

“We will not rest, we will be back on the training pitch tomorrow - to continue our work to address the factors that we know need attention. CECAFA provides an immediate opportunity for further work with the team, with CHAN in January providing the key opportunity for our home based players to prove themselves in front of a home crowd.”






Match Highlights 

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You can also follow @johnnymckinstry or @RwandaAmavubi on twitter.


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.




Quotes: What the media say

  • 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.

    Read More
    Ben Smith BBC Sport
  • If one day, McKinstry reaches the very pinnacle of the game, few could begrudge him his day in the sun... no one could say he hasn’t earned it.

    Read More
    Daily Mirror
  • The figures do not lie. The six matches on McKinstry’s watch have been World Cup or Cup of Nations qualifiers. They have lost one.

    Read More
    the guardian
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