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.
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.