CHAN 2016: Rwanda move to Quarter finals with 2 wins from 3.

CHAN 2016: Morocco defeat Rwanda in final Group A fixture, but Rwanda progress to Quarter-finals at top of Group A. (24 Jan 2016).

Rwanda have secured their place in the quarter-finals, finishing top of Group A.   In doing so they become the first Amavubi team to reach the last 8 of a major tournament.


Starting Squad [Rwanda vs Morocco, CHAN - Group A, 24 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]

At a rain soaked Amahoro stadium, Morocco came out looking to put on a strong performance, knowing that it would likely be their last match of the competition.  

In contrast the Amavubi, who knew they had already won Group A after their second game (versus Gabon),  chose to make 8 changes to their starting line up - allowing them to rest a number of players before their quarter-final appearance next weekend (Sat, 30 Jan).  

The game, which had a number of good chances for both sides, finished 4-1 in Morocco's favour. 



Post Match Interview

Speaking after the game Coach McKinstry explained his approach:

“Obviously, we are disappointed with the result today, but it was also important for us to also focus on our progression in the tournament as a whole"

"Having been the only team to win our group after just two games, we were in the unique and fortunate position today that, having already qualified top, we could rotate our squad."

"Tactically, this allowed us to rest a number of key players; to also ensure that others did not pick up any further yellow cards - which could have caused them to miss the quarter-final; and to give important competitive match time to a wider range of players in our squad"


Ernest Sugira [Rwanda vs Morocco, CHAN - Group A, 24 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]Coach McKinstry noted that it was important to ensure that the whole squad was fully match ready if the Amavubi were to progress in the tournament.


"If we have to reach into our squad in the knock-out stages, it will be of great benefit to us that our wider squad has had competitive match time today."

"The result today will also have grounded the players - we made some basic mistakes. While the first goal that Morocco scored was an excellent goal, as I believe our goal was, the others were very preventable.”





Rwanda Team


Olivier KWIZERA (18)
Djihad BIZIMANA (4)
Dominique Savio NSHUTI (11)
Fuastin USENGIMANA (15)
Ernest SUGIRA (16)
Yussufu HABIMANA (19)

Yannick MUKUNZI (6)
Rashid KALISA (7)
Jacques TUYISENGE (9, Cpt)
Jean-Claude IRANZI(12)
Fitina OMBORENGA (13)
Celestin NDAYISHIMIYE (14)
Innocent HABYARIMANA (17)
Fiston MUNEZERO (21)
Jean Claude NDORI (23)


Post-match interview with Coach McKinstry.

VIDEO: In this post-match interview (3:45), Coach McKinstry shares his approach to the game; his views on strengths and weaknesses displayed; and his initial thoughts looking ahead to the quarter-finals at the weekend.


Match Highlights 

Photo 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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Video Highlights

Match highlights (3 mins) courtesy of CAF TV



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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

  • There is an almost missionary zeal to Johnny McKinstry's devotion to his job.

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    Daily Mirror
  • McKinstry has come close to a giant killing before, when his Sierra Leone side came within half an hour of defeating Herve Renard’s Cote d’Ivoire.

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    Ed Dove
  • Very few 29-year-olds have managed a national football team. None have done it while that country is being brought to its knees by Ebola.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
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