AFCON2017: Rwanda lose 2-3 to Mozambique in Group H qualifier at Amahoro Stadium (4 June 2016).
In a hard fought game which saw 5 goals and a number of strong chances for the Amavubi, Mozambique's Elias Gaspar Pelembe opened the scoring put the Mambas into the lead in the 10th minute. Rwanda's Jacques Tuyisenge restored the balance for the Amavubi in the 37th minute making it 1-1.
However, moments before the half time whistle, Mozambique's Apson Manjate doubled the lead for the Mambas.
In the second half, Danny Usengimana replaced Ally Niyonzima as Amavubi changed to a more offensive formation. The tactical change allowed Rwanda to apply considerable pressure, across a number of very good chances.
As a result, Rwanda's Jacques Tuyisenge secured his second goal at 78 minutes, netting off a brilliant cross from Abouba Sibomana to once again bring the score line level.
Despite the Amavubi pressure, Mozambique's Pelembe managed to score in the 82nd minute to hand Mozambique a 3-2 win over Rwanda.
The result meant that despite Rwanda retaining second spot in the group (with 6 points), the result today effectively ended their chance of qualifying for AFCOn 2017 among the second-best ranked teams.
Rwanda will play their last Group H encounter against Ghana on September 3 in Accra.
Source: Adapted from Ferwafa.rw (Bonnie Mugabe)
Post-match interview with Coach McKinstry.
Speaking after the game Coach McKinstry said:
Everyone is bitterly disappointed with the result today. I think once it is all totalled, we probably created more chances today than we have done in the entire campaign. However that alone is not enough, we must also ensure that 100% of the time we avoid simple mistakes.
We were clear during the training camp on the absolute importance of closely marking key players. At times during the game we let this slip and that has cost us. At international level you simply cannot give world class players 2 metres of space on the edge of the box. Jacques TUYISENGE has scored two very good goals, and we have come very close with a number of others, but yet a couple of mistakes have meant that we were required to chase the game.
While the fans will obviously be disappointed with this particular result, no one is more disappointed than the staff and the players. The dressing room was silent after the match.
So while disappointed, we must also remain realistic as to where Rwanda is in terms of its development path. When I took over as Head Coach the Amavubi were a team that hadn't won an away game in four years, that had never qualified for the knock-out stages of a major international tournament, and were a team that was known for not creating goal-scoring opportunities. Over the last 18 months we have changed all of that.
The Amavubi are a good team. However, a good team becomes a great team by not only creating chances, but also by ensuring that they avoid simple mistakes 100% of the time. This remains a key challenge.
As I've said before, the Amavubi are a young team and so, unlike most other teams we have a squad of players who will have 5 or 6 years together to grow in experience and ability. This however will only occur if we can create the correct conditions for them in their everyday preparations.
Ferwafa, the Ministry and I are clear on the long term challenges and the steps required to address these. We want to improve fitness, to improve individual player analysis, and to improve the standard of the local game so that players have every opportunity to develop, and so that Rwanda can continue to progress over the coming months and years.
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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.
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