Burundi Stay Alive in AFCON 2023 Race With Namibia Win

Burundi Stay Alive in AFCON 2023 Race With Namibia Win
Credit: Iconsport

Burundi managed to get their African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying campaign back on track with an impressive 3-2 victory over Namibia on Tuesday. This was a much-needed win considering the Swallows are scheduled to meet Cameroon in early September.

Burundi vs Namibia AFCON Qualifier – First Half

The hosts didn't take too long to stake their claim, as they opened the scoring in the first minute. After Bonfils Caleb Bienyimana's first attempt hit the woodwork, Abedi Bigirimana scored off the rebound, giving Burundi an early lead. Unfortunately for the visiting team, Etienne Nadyiragije's boys weren't done. With a cross from Jospin Nshimirimana, Hussein Shabani's header found Bonfils Caleb Bienyimana wide open; and unlike the first time, the Kaizer Chiefs striker was able to beat Edward Maova with a stunning strike.

With Namibia now trailing two goals to nil, the visitors managed to put some pressure on Burundi. However, despite controlling the ball for most of the first half, the Brave Warriors were unable to find the back of the net. Disaster struck again, this time in the 19th minute. Namibia's woes continued as Hussein Shabani scored a brilliant chip shot, thanks to an assist from Bonfils Caleb Bienyimana.

Bearing that third goal in mind, Namibia's AFCON hopes were about to take a sharp turn. Despite being at the top of the table, they were at risk of dropping to third; as a draw in Burundi's last match with Cameroon would eliminate Namibia from the African Cup of Nations. The Brave Warriors started to find their stride later in the first half, as they pulled one back, thanks to Peter Shaluile.

Burundi vs Namibia AFCON Qualifier – Second Half

Although Namibia had the majority of the possession at the end of the first half, Burundi had clearly been the dominant side. The hosts registered 10 shots, with three of those finding the back of the net. On the other hand, Burundi managed just three shots in the first half, with two of those going on target, and one goal scored.

While the second half was relatively quieter than the first, there was no shortage of action, as both teams tried to gain the edge over each other. It was Namibia who scored the only goal of the second half; as Wendell Rudath beat Burundi's goalie Onesime Rukundu with a long range effort. With just a few minutes left to play, the visitors tried to level the score, but Burundi managed to hold on for the win.

It may interest you to know that Burundi registered a total of 19 shots, with just five of those going on target. On the other hand, four of Namibia's five total shots were on target. However, it was the Brave Warriors of Namibia who had 53% of the possession to Burundi's 47.

Where This Leaves Both Teams in AFCON 2023 Qualifying Table

As it stands, Namibia are still leading the standings with five points; while Burundi and Cameroon are second and third respectively, with four points. Despite today's loss, Namibia have most likely secured a place in next year's African Cup of Nations. However, a 4-4 draw in Burundi's final qualifying match with Cameroon would see the Brave Warriors drop to third. Furthermore, with today's win, Burundi have gone up to third on the table; they need to draw against Cameroon in order to go through.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

Kelechi is a huge sports fan with over 10 years of betting experience. He has written thousands of match previews on football, tennis, basketball and American football in the past few years. Kelechi has worked with a few reputable brands like Afrik-Foot, Football Whispers, What Are The Odds and Pundit Feed.