CHAN 2016: Rwanda defeat Ivory Coast 1-0 in tournament opener.

CHAN 2016: Rwanda and Coach McKinstry win the flagship opening match in front of 30,000 at the Amahoro, Kigali (16 Jan 2016).

[Rwanda vs Ivory Coast, CHAN - Group A, 16 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]

Rwanda have defeated the Ivory Coast 1-0 in the CHAN 2016 tournament opener at a packed Amahoro stadium in Kigali.


Watched by President Paul Kagame, invited guests, and a crowd of 30,000, the Amavubi opened the game well, applying pressure and with a number of attempts on goal.


At 15 minutes, Ivorian defender Gbagnon Badie fouled Jean-Claude IRANZI (12) at the edge of the penalty area. Rwanda took advantage of the resulting free kick and moved ahead following a direct strike on goal from defender Emery BAYISENGE (8).


The Amavubi played controlling football for the remainder of the half, seeing a 1-0 score line at half time.

The Ivory Coast emerged for the second half knowing they would need to apply considerable pressure to overturn the score line.

[Rwanda vs Ivory Coast, CHAN - Group A, 16 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]


Rwanda were however awarded a penalty at the 1 hour mark when captain Jacques TUYISENGE (9) was brought down by the Ivorian defence as he waited in the box to receive a corner.  

It was however not to be when Emery BAYISENGE's strike was saved by ‘Les Elephants’ goalkeeper Ali Badra Sangare.


Buoyed by the save, the Ivorian's applied increasing pressure, forcing the Amavubi defence to work. The best the Ivory Coast could manage however came at 89 minutes when a volley from Guiza Djedje hit the upright.


The win for the Amavubi placed them at the top of Group A with 3 points.


Rwanda now face on Gabon on Wednesday 20th January in the second fixture of Group A at the Amahoro Stadium, Kigali.


'Man of the Match'

Amavubi Defender Emery BAYISENGE (8) was voted Man of the Match.



Rwanda Team


Yannick MUKUNZI (6)
Jacques TUYISENGE (9, Cpt)
Jean-Claude IRANZI(12)
Fitina OMBORENGA (13)
Celestin NDAYISHIMIYE (14)
Innocent HABYARIMANA (17)

Djihad BIZIMANA (4)
Rashid KALISA (7)
Dominique Savio NSHUTI (11)
Fuastin USENGIMANA (15)
Ernest SUGIRA (16)
Olivier KWIZERA (18)
Yussufu HABIMANA (19)
Fiston MUNEZERO (21)
Jean Claude NDORI (23)


Post Match Interview with Coach McKinstry

We hear from Coach McKinstry and goalscorer & 'Man of the Match' Emery Bayisenge on their opening CHAN 2016 win against Ivory Coast.



Match Highlights 

Photo Highlights

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Video Highlights

Match highlights (3:22) courtesy of CAF TV



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You can read more about Coach McKinstry's:

About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach.  As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, the 'Uganda Cranes' (2019 - 2021) he delivered a WIN from 2 in every 3 games and went undefeated in over 8 in every 10 games played.  This represented the highest 'win' and 'undefeated' rate achieved by a Uganda National Team Coach in over 15 years.  In his first 3 months in charge, he had led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019; had put Uganda top of their AFCON qualification group; and secured 9 wins and 1 draw from his first 10 games.  In winning CECAFA 2019, Uganda did so by winning all six of their matches, only the second time in Uganda's history that they had done so by winning every game they played in the tournament.  In AFCON qualifiers, under his management Uganda were the only team of all 48 nations competing to have conceded zero goals from open play.

He was International Manager and Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team (2015-16). 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 (2013-14). 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 was Head Coach of Saif Sporting Club, Bangladesh Premier League (2018-19); and FK Kauno Zalgiris, Lithuanian A-Lyga (2017-18).  He is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach. 

Coach McKinstry is a member of 'Common Goal'. Together members seek to support high-impact organisations that harness the power of football to advance the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Quotes: What the media say

  • It stands testament to his adaptability, hunger and talent ... that McKinstry has tamed the toughest challenges and risen to become one of the best young managers in football today.

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    These Football Times
  • 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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  • Under his management, the team played attractive football, scored goals and racked up some important results.

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    Eoin O'Callaghan
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