AFCON 2021: Uganda top Qualification group after opening week

Uganda go top of AFCON Qualification Group B with a win over Malawi, and a draw with top seed Burkina Faso (19 Nov 2019).

At the end of the opening week of qualifiers, Uganda sit at the top of Group B, ahead of Burkina Faso on goal difference.

The results from their two fixtures in November have allowed Uganda, and recently appointed Coach  McKinstry, to secure 4 points.  The away draw against Burkina Faso, and a 2-0 home win against Malawi have propelled Uganda to the top of Group B of the AFCON 2021 qualifiers.

 

Burkina Faso (Away, 13 Nov 2019 )

Uganda opened their AFCON 2021 Qualification campaign with a well-earned away point to Burkina Faso on 13 November 2019. Drawn as 1st seeds in Group B, Burkina Faso had won their previous six Home AFCON qualifiers, and not since 2007 had they suffered a defeat at home in an AFCON qualification game.

Kampala, Uganda. 17 Nov 2019.  Uganda fans celebrate Emmanuel Okwi (7, Uganda) putting Uganda 1-0 ahead.   Uganda v Malawi, CAF Nations Cup / African Cup of Nations Qualifier.  Nelson Mandela Stadium at Namboole.  Credit: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)Uganda fans celebrate. 
CAF Nations Cup / African Cup of Nations Qualifier.     

Photo: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)

For Uganda, who had also lost 1-0 on their last visit to face Burkina in Ouagadougou in 2016, the task was substantial, not least as Coach McKinstry and the squad had only 2 days to prepare for this opening game of the 2021 qualification campaign.

Having withstood an early barrage from the home team that included Uganda full-back Joseph Ochaya being required to clear a goal-bound shot off the line; the Ugandan team settled into the match in front of a largely partisan crowd.

Delivering disciplined and organised performance, Uganda applied pressure and came close to taking all three points with Emmanuel Okwi's second half header, the forward unfortunately seeing his effort canon back off the crossbar.

With the final whistle, Uganda had exceeded expectations and secured a coveted away win to get off to a positive campaign start in pursuit of what could be their third consecutive AFCON qualification.

Malawi (Home, 17 Nov 2019)

A flight back to Uganda and a quick turnaround of only 4 days then saw Uganda take the field in Kampala for the visit of then group leaders Malawi, who had started their own campaign with a 1-0 win over South Sudan.

In front of their home crowd, Uganda took control of the game from the kick-off creating several chances that resulted in a confident 2-0 win with goals from Emmanuel Okwi and Fahad Bayo. It could have been even more, but Farouk Miya was unfortunate to see his winding run end with his shot coming back off the inside of the post; whilst the Malawi goalkeeper also made several smart saves to ensure the score remained at 2-0.

Uganda off to a positive start

Reflecting on the opening 2 rounds of fixtures, Head Coach Johnathan McKinstry commented:

"To take 4 points from our opening games is very positive and puts us in a good position to work towards qualification for the finals in Cameroon in 2021." 

"Having only a little time to prepare with the players for these games, it was important that we kept things simple and looked to play an effective forward thinking style of play, whilst also ensuring that we did not give our opponents the opportunity to surprise us."

"Over the two games we feel that we did very well in this regard" We have had a positive week in camp and I feel it gives us a very good platform to build upon going forward."

 

Next AFCON Q 2021 Qualification Games

South Sudan (H), South Sudan (A). 23-31 March 2020.

 

Kampala, Uganda. 17 Nov 2019.  Joseph Ochaya (2, Uganda) moves past Richard Mbulu (9, Malawi).  Uganda v Malawi, CAF Nations Cup / African Cup of Nations Qualifier.  Nelson Mandela Stadium at Namboole.  Credit: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)Joseph Ochaya (2, Uganda) moves past Richard Mbulu (9, Malawi).  
Uganda v Malawi, CAF Nations Cup / African Cup of Nations Qualifier. 
Photo: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)


 

Kampala, Uganda. 17 Nov 2019.  Johnathan McKinstry (Head Coach, Uganda), Abdullah Mubira (Assistant Coach, Uganda), Charles Livingstone (Assistant Coach, Uganda), Fred Kajoba (Goalkeeping Coach, Uganda), Alex McCarthy (Performance Analyst, Uganda) and other technical staff in the dug out ahead of the game.  Uganda v Malawi, CAF Nations Cup / African Cup of Nations Qualifier.  Nelson Mandela Stadium at Namboole.  Credit: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)Johnathan McKinstry (Head Coach, Uganda), Abdullah Mubira (Assistant Coach), Charles Livingstone (Assistant Coach), Fred Kajoba (Goalkeeping Coach), Alex McCarthy (Performance Analyst) and other technical staff in the dug out ahead of the game.  
Uganda v Malawi, CAF Nations Cup / African Cup of Nations Qualifier.    

Photo: XtraTimeSports (Darren McKinstry)


 

Notes to Editors

  • AFCON 2021: Uganda top qualification group after opening week (November 2019)
  • Since being appointed on 01 Oct 2019, Coach McKinstry has now secured 3 wins and one draw from 4 games.
  • These include: Malawi, 2-0 (AFCON qualifier- Nov 19); Burkina Faso, 1-1 (AFCON qualifier- Nov 19); Burundi, 3-0 (CHAN qualifier – Oct 19), Ethiopia, 1-0 (International Friendly – Oct 19)

More News

Visit www.johnnymckinstry.com/ugandacranes 

Interview Requests

Please contact media@johnnymckinstry.com with any requests.  

Photo Gallery  / Download 

See www.johnnymckinstry.com/gallery for a selection of images for use in social media or online news (terms apply).  Images without watermarks, or for wider use can be obtained via www.xtratimesports.net/photos.

More News

Visit www.johnnymckinstry.com.  You can also follow @johnnymckinstry , or @XtraTimeSports on twitter.

Read More

You can read more about Coach McKinstry's:

About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach.  He is currently Head Coach of the Uganda National Team - the Uganda 'Cranes'.   By December 2019, after only 3 months in charge, Uganda had won CECAFA 2019; were sitting top of their AFCON qualification group; and had secured 9 wins and 1 draw from 10 games.

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.

Slideshow: Uganda Highlights

  • XTS 20191219-154141-3692 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-161632-4605 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-161855-4646 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-161859-4659 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-162446-3703 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-165111-3718 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170043-4755 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170745-3725 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170808-4789 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170823-4801 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-171235-3733 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172512-4883 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172513-4884 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172854-4895 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172859-4904 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-174123-4198 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175553-5037 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175616-5056 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175623-5075 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175725-4255 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-180028-3764 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-180749-4334 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-154141-3692 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-161632-4605 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-161855-4646 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-161859-4659 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-162446-3703 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-165111-3718 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170043-4755 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170745-3725 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170808-4789 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-170823-4801 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-171235-3733 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172512-4883 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172513-4884 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172854-4895 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-172859-4904 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-174123-4198 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175553-5037 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175616-5056 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175623-5075 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-175725-4255 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-180028-3764 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea
  • XTS 20191219-180749-4334 CECAFA2019-F-Uganda-Eritrea