FIFA World Cup Burundi stop Gambia to make winning start in qualifiers

Burundi kicked off their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a 3-2 victory against the Gambia on Thursday.

Striker Abedi Bigirimana gave the Swallows the lead in the 31st minute, and Frederic Nsabiyumva made it 2-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. But the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFON) quarter-finalists Gambia pulled a goal back through Musa Barrow in added time of the first half.

After the recess, Sudi Abdallah netted Burundi’s third goal after 75 minutes as the Swallows continued to push forward for more goals. The Gambia were awarded a penalty in added time and Ebrima Colley made no mistake from the spot.

Read Also: Gabon edge past Kenya thanks to Guelor Kanga’s winner – 2026 World Cup qualifiers

Burundi coach Etienne Ndayiragije said after the game. “We need to be motivated as we start preparations for the next match next week.”

On Wednesday Rwanda under new coach Torsten Frank Spittler were held by Zimbabwe to a goalless draw in a Group C match played at the Huye Stadium. Ethiopia also settled for a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone in a Group A match played in Morocco.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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