CHAN 2016: Rwanda exit at Quarter-Final stage.

CHAN 2016: Rwanda exit CHAN 2016, having made it to the Quarter-finals for the first time in their history (30 Jan 2016).

Coach McKinstry and Rwanda have exited CHAN 2016, but become the only Amavubi side so far to make it to the Quarter-Finals of a major international tournament.  DR Congo secured the win in extra time, moving 2-1 with only 5 minutes remaining.

[Rwanda V DR Congo, Quarter Finals - CHAN, Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]Rwanda Match Squad.  (Pic: ©

Playing at a packed Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda, DR Congo opening the score at 10 minutes when Doxa Gikanji made a long range strike as other DR Congo and Rwanda players paused momentarily, waiting for an expected freekick.

DR Congo applied pressure in the minutes which followed, but by the half hour the Amavubi had begin to settle into the game and were looking for the equaliser.

Innocent Habyarimana came closest, only inches away, but Ley Matampi made the save to keep DR Congo ahead.


[Rwanda V DR Congo, Quarter Finals - CHAN, Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]Abdul RWATUBYAYE (22, Rwanda) pushes through the Congolese midfield.    (Pic: © Amavubi emerged an apparently different team following the half time talk from Coach McKinstry. Instructed to put the agreed game plan into effect, them embarked on looking to exploit DR Congo weaknesses.

Amavubi Striker Ernest Sugira secured the equaliser in the 57th minute as he moved past two defenders and placed a strike right of the keeper.

Sugira almost made it two not long after, but his attempt went just over the goal.


The renewed Rwanda team pressed hard down the wings, driving at the DR Congo defence and securing a number of free kicks, but to no avail.

A 1-1 score line at full time saw the game move into extra time.   Extra time saw a number of chances for Rwanda, but as players tired and went down with cramp, DR Congo found the net with only 5 minutes to spare ahead of a potential penalty shoot-out.


Amavubi Fans. [Rwanda V DR Congo, Quarter Finals - CHAN, Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]Amavubi Fans.    (Pic: © the disappointment for the Rwanda team and their fans about the result, supporters remain upbeat in general given recent progress.

Not only is this Amavubi side the first Rwanda team to make it to the knockout stages of a major international tournament, but they do so on the back of finishing runner's up in CECAFA 2015, and are currently sitting in second place in their AFCON 2017 qualification group, all achieved since Coach McKinstry took over in late March 2015.



Interview with Coach McKinstry

Speaking after the Match, Coach McKinstry said:

"We are all very disappointed to exit the tournament at the quarterfinal stage. I think the disappointment is so raw because we came so close; and on a different day one of those chances towards the end of the game would have found the net. The team really have given 100% throughout this tournament."

"The support that we have received has been tremendous - from His Excellency; the Ministry of Sport and a number of Ministers; FERWAFA and of course the fans - who came out in strength today to cheer us on"

"This really is a team on the up and they will only get better because of the experience here at CHAN. In a 10 month period this team have secured Rwanda's first away win in 4 years; reached the final of CECAFA; and in getting the quarter finals of CHAN, have qualified for the knock out stages of a major tournament for the first time in Rwanda's history. We also currently sit in second place of our AFCON 2017 qualification group."

"Looking ahead, we will review everything from this tournament, whilst at the same time begin preparations for our two AFCON qualifiers against Mauritius; which are only 6 weeks away. We are very well placed in our qualifying group; and or target will be to take maximum 6 points from these two games. If we can do that then we will be in a very strong position to push on and qualify for the final of AFCON 2017 in Gabon."


Coach McKinstry speaks to players ahead of extra time. [Rwanda V DR Congo, Quarter Finals - CHAN, Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]Coach McKinstry speaks to players ahead of extra time.    (Pic: ©




Rwanda Team


Yannick MUKUNZI (6)
Jacques TUYISENGE (9, Cpt)
Jean-Claude IRANZI(12)
Fitina OMBORENGA (13)
Celestin NDAYISHIMIYE (14)
Ernest SUGIRA (16)
Innocent HABYARIMANA (17)

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


Post-match interview with Coach McKinstry.

VIDEO: Following the CHAN 2016 Quarter-final versus DR Congo, Coach McKinstry shares his thoughts on the match; the ongoing development and success of the Amavubi to date; and key next steps and challenges ahead.


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 (3:48 mins) courtesy of CAF TV


See the crowd and atmosphere before Rwanda vs DR Congo (0:33 mins) courtesy of CAF TV



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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 Gor Mahia FC in Kenya

As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, the 'Uganda Cranes' (2019 - 2021) he led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019 and over his tenure delivered a WIN from 2 in every 3 games, going 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.

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. 

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).  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

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

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

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    Daily Mirror
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