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

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Video Highlights

Match highlights (3 mins) 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

  • 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
  • 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.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
  • 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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