Coach McKinstry & Rwanda have overcome Sudan to move to the final of CECAFA 2015 (3 December 2015).
The Amavubi have reached the finals of the 2015 Cecafa Challenge Cup after beating Sudan in a penalty shoot-out at the National Stadium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
During a hard fought game, a player from each side was awarded a red card. With the scoreboard showing 0-0 at 90 minutes, the game proceeded to extra time.
While the Amavubi held the majority of possession and applied pressure, Sudan were rewarded in the first half of extra time following a 3 minute offensive and went 1-0 up with a goal from Atahir Babikir.
The Amavubi held their heads and shortly into the second half of extra time, Jean-Baptiste MUGIRANEZA (7) equalised taking the game to penalties.
Rwanda won the penalty shootout 4-2, with Amavubi keepr Eric NDAYISHIMIYE (1) making an important save.
Post Match Interview
Speaking after the game Coach McKinstry said
“We have to give very big credit to all of our players today. To play 5 games in 12 days is no easy feat. It pushes the body to its limits, and the players have managed to show great mental strength to push forward even when their muscles are sore and tired,”
“Today’s match was a very difficult game and it was made more difficult in some ways following the early red card for Sudan. This meant that they would sit deep for the whole game, and only play on the counter attack. This made it very hard to find space and create good chances”
“When Sudan managed to score from a rare attack in extra time, many teams would have crumbled. Being so tired, and having worked so hard...to concede at that point can be a hammer blow"
“But the players are developing a never-say-die attitude, and they kept fighting and we got the goal we needed”
Asked about the Amavubi's penalty record Coach McKinstry said:
“We have now taken 9 penalties at this tournament and scored them all. The players are showing great focus and concentration at such important moments. And all credit to goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimiye who again made a vital save to help us win”
“We now will do everything we can to get the players in the best possible physical condition for the Final. We know it will take another huge effort from everyone, but we know the players will give it everything they have,” added McKinstry.
Rwanda will now meet Uganda in the final of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup final - this Saturday, December 5 at the National Stadium Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The two countries have faced each other 3 times before in the finals of this tournament, with Uganda winning on all 3 occasions.
Rwanda - Match Team:
Eric NDAYISHIMIYE (1)
Jacques TUYISENGE (9)
Ivan SENYANGE (14)
Abdul RWATUBYAYE (5)
Fuastin USENGIMANA (15)
Fitina OMBORENGA (13)
Djihad BIZIMANA (4)
Dominique Savio NSHUTI (11)
Yussufu HABIMANA (19)
Jean-Baptiste MUGIRANEZA (7)
Players Subbed On:
Haruna Niyonzima (8)
Ernest SUGIRA (16)
Isaie SONGA (10)
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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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