Rwanda exit World Cup 2018 qualifiers

Rwanda have exited the 2018 World Cup qualifiers following a defeat to Libya in Kigali (17 November 2015).

[Rwanda Vs Libya World Cup 2018 Qualifier, 17 Nov 2015.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015]


Despite going into half time tied 1-1, following an equaliser by Jacques Tuyisenge, the final score was 3-1 in Libya’s favour.


Speaking after the match Amavubi Coach McKinstry said:

“Libya are to be congratulated. We knew they would be hungry... their players gave their all and came away with the victory. While we controlled large parts of the game, we still do not have the killer instinct in front of goal, and some individual mistakes allowed Libya to capitalise and ultimately cost us a victory."

"These are problems that have for a long time limited Rwanda’s ability to progress and both I and Ferwafa know that while we are moving in the right direction, it will take time to correct.” 

“In the second half, we came out looking to press hard, but an individual error helped Libya score the second goal.”



[Rwanda Vs Libya World Cup 2018 Qualifier, 17 Nov 2015.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015]Despite going 2-1 down, the Amavubi pushed hard and made a number of efforts on the Libyan goal.

“Our team shape and passing has improved markedly over recent months, and this allowed the Amavubi to press the Libyan defence and goalkeeper a number of times. However work is still required to improve our focus and intensity."

"We also know all too well that mistakes that go unpunished in the Rwandan league are seized upon at international level.”

Libya’s final goal came in the closing minutes, benefiting from a deflection which spun the ball beyond the reach of Amavubi keeper Olivier Kwizera, when the Amavubi had thrown everything forward in an attempt to re-balance the scoresheet.

[Rwanda Vs Libya World Cup 2018 Qualifier, 17 Nov 2015.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2015]


Asked about the players performance Coach McKinstry said:

“They are a good group of players. The best in Rwanda and the best available that I can call. That said, both Ferwafa and I are clear on the need to further develop the player pool. President Nzamwita has made clear his long term plans, including talent development. I also continue to scout the league in Rwanda, and abroad, for new talent. I would clearly also want to be able to call players like Meddie Kagere, who are scoring regularly in top leagues, but that is not within my control.”


On next steps, Coach McKinstry was clear:

“We will not rest, we will be back on the training pitch tomorrow - to continue our work to address the factors that we know need attention. CECAFA provides an immediate opportunity for further work with the team, with CHAN in January providing the key opportunity for our home based players to prove themselves in front of a home crowd.”






Match Highlights 

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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

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

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  • If one day, McKinstry reaches the very pinnacle of the game, few could begrudge him his day in the sun... no one could say he hasn’t earned it.

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