CHAN 2016: Rwanda defeat Gabon 2-1 to move to Quarter finals

CHAN 2016: Rwanda and Coach McKinstry have defeated Gabon 2-1, moving to the quarter-finals of CHAN for the first time in their history (20 Jan 2016).

Rwanda have secured their place in the quarter finals, finishing top of Group A with a game in hand. In doing so they become the first Amavubi team to reach the last 8 of a continental tournament.

Amavubi Squad [Rwanda vs Gabon, CHAN - Group A, 20 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]

Ernest SUGIRA (16) scored two goals to take the Amavubi to two wins from two games and, in securing them a minimum of 6 points, ensure that they progress to the Quarter finals.


Rwanda moved ahead just before half-time with a goal from Sugira at 38 minutes when he follwed through on a cleared close range effort from team-mate Jacques TUYISENGE (9, Cpt)


Just moments into the second half Sugira put himself on the score-sheet again when just outside the box he turned inside his defender and put in a superb strike on goal (picture).


Sugira strikes to claim his second goal! [Rwanda vs Gabon, CHAN - Group A, 20 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]Gabon however took advantage of an overexcited Rwandan crowd and team when they pulled one back around 5 minutes later through Aaron Boupendza, heading in at the 53rd minute.


Rwanda regained composure and continue to make repeated assaults on the Gabon defence. Tchen Kabi (6) was sent off when he picked up his second yellow of the game, following a foul on Dominique Savio NSHUTI (11).


One man down, Gabon sought to apply the pressure required to stay in the tournament, coming close in the dying minutes when they had a free-kick from just outside the penalty area hit the crossbar.


The win meant Rwanda not only stayed top of Group A, but also became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals. Later in the day, the win by Cote d'Ivoire over Morocco meant that Rwanda had, with a game in hand, won Group A.


Rwanda now face on Morocco on Sunday 24th January in the third and final fixture of Group A at the Amahoro Stadium, Kigali.


Coach McKinstry and the technical team leave the field following their win [Rwanda vs Gabon, CHAN - Group A, 20 Jan 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.  Photo © Darren McKinstry 2016,]

'Man of the Match'

Amavubi Striker Ernest SUGIRA (16) was voted Man of the Match.



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 and Ernest Sugira.

VIDEO (4 minutes): Coach McKinstry sets out how he, his technical staff and the Amavubi worked to overcome Gabon, and why he thought Ernest Sugira was the right choice for the game. Ernest Sugira talks about the 2 goals he scored against Gabon and being awarded Man of the Match'.


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 (3:22) courtesy of CAF TV



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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.




Quotes: What the media say

  • McKinstry made an impressive start, losing just one of his first six matches and leading Sierra Leone into the top 50 of Fifa's world rankings, above Northern Ireland, the Republic, Cameroon and Senegal.

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    Ben Smith BBC Sport
  • It stands testament to his adaptability, hunger and talent ... that McKinstry has tamed the toughest challenges and risen to become one of the best young managers in football today.

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    These Football Times
  • McKinstry has a voracious appetite for football and for learning, he lives and breathes it and his sense of adventure means predicting his next move is not easy.

    Read More
    Ben Smith BBC Sport
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