Leone Stars delivered an impressive performance against the Elephants of the Ivory Coast in Abidjan especially during the first half which saw them lead by a goal from Kei Kamara in the 43rd minute of play.
However, the Irish coach was forced to make two changes at half time due to an injury of winger George Davies and midfielder Alfred Sankoh.
Mckinstry said: "We had been largely content with our performance in the first half, with only one or two small things to address in the dressing room. Our biggest problem was injuries. George Davies was unable to continue, and that was a considerable loss as he had given Ivory Coast problems again and again in the first half.”
"Alfred Sankoh had also been struggling at half time. We decided to try him for a few minutes but had to bring him off pretty much straight away. Two unplanned changes at half time are very difficult for any team."
"As goal difference is not an issue in the group we were looking for a draw or the win. However, the Ivory Coast is a very experienced team - they have been to World Cups and Cup of Nation's Finals - and when they get into the last 10 minutes they know how to see games out."
McKinstry was however full of praise for his boys performance saying: "We have a young team, who are still learning, and who despite almost no preparation as a team this week, delivered a hard fought and excellent performance today.”