Sierra Leone National Team

Ibrahim 'Obreh' Kargbo celebrates his penalty goal with teammates 'Crespo', Strasser, 'Poborsky' and Suma.  [Leone Stars Vs. Equatorial Guinea, 7 Sept 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]

Northern Irish Coach, Johnny McKinstry, leads Sierra Leone to a 3-2 victory over Equatorial Guinea in their final world cup qualifier (7 September 2013)


Amidst torrential rain, Sierra Leone have recorded a 3-2 victory over Equatorial Guinea in their final world cup qualifier (7 September 2013)


Mustapha Haji Bangura [Leone Stars Vs. Equatorial Guinea, 7 Sept 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]The Leone Stars played very well, moving 3-0 ahead of the visitors.  We understand that it is something close to 20 years since Sierra Leone have gone three goals ahead in a competitive game.


Coach McKinstry commented:

"We are very pleased with the result.  We said before kick off that we would not settle for anything less that a win today, and that is what the team have achieved.  

Beyond that I would say that for 70 minutes of the game, in what were some pretty awful conditions, we put in a top-drawer performance with the team implementing the new appraoches we have been developing in training."  

 However, reflecting on the final scoreline Coach McKinstry said

"What seems to be the perennial problem of Sierra Leonean football stretching back several years reared its head again in terms of conceding late goals".  


Alhassan Crespo Kamara [Leone Stars Vs. Equatorial Guinea, 7 Sept 2013 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]Coach McKinstry went on to say:

"It is simply not good enough to allow 2 late goals in the fashion we did today and the players are clear on this point.  

So yes, there is still work to do and I relish the challenge ahead of making sure that we continue to develop our attacking brand of football, whilst at the same time working to ensure we become water tight at the back."  

Thinking ahead to AFCON 2015 Coach McKinstry noted:

"If we can do this, which I am confident we can, then next years African Nation’s Cup qualifiers should prove to not only be exciting for the supporters, but also successful for the Leone Stars."




Match Highlights

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Notes to Editors

  1. The game is Sierra Leone's final World Cup 2013 Qualifier against Equatoral Guinea on 7 September 2013
  2. The game is the third in charge for Coach McKinstry who was appointed in April 2013.
  3. See for a range of information - biography, press releases and photographs for press use
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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

  • 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.

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    the guardian
  • McKinstry has experienced much more than the average coach his age. His career has gone from strength to strength, starting in Northern Ireland and England, then via America to West Africa eventually.

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    Damien Edgar Backpage Football
  • McKinstry led the team to their highest ever placing in the FIFA world rankings. They broke into the top 50, ahead of his native Northern Ireland.

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    Damien Edgar Backpage Football
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