Amavubi Stars head coach Johnny McKinstry is full of praise for striker Isaie Songa despite bringing him on as a second half substitute in the 1-0 loss to Gabon in an international friendly on Saturday at Amahoro National Stadium.
The Police FC forward, Songa, came on for midfielder Andrew Buteera when Rwanda were already a goal down, and the debutant made his presence felt by forcing Gabonese goalkeeper and captain, Stephane Yves Moto Bitseki into a couple of fine saves.
The defeat came exactly a week after a similar 1-0 home loss to Ghana in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Group H qualifier, but McKinstry was happy with what he saw from the powerful 23-year-old former AS Kigali forward.
McKinstry said that, “It was a great performance from him but we still have a lot of work to do. Nonetheless, I am proud of him, same with other new players on the team.”
“He is still young and was only making international debut, but he is courageous and brave in front of goal. It was a chance for him to show me what he can do and he did that and I believe he will continue to grow and progress together with the team,” explained the Northern Irishman.
Songa’s performance on his cameo debut raised his chances of making it on the Amavubi team which will travel to Morocco for two weeks training camp in October in preparations for the 2018 World Cup preliminary round qualifiers against Libya in November.
There is also the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup slated for November 27 to December 12 in Ethiopia as well as the Africa National Championships (CHAN) finals tournament, which will be held in Rwanda from January 16 to February 7, 2016.
Songa finished last season as the league top scorer with 14 goals as AS Kigali finished in second place with 49 points, three behind the champions, APR FC.