(African Stand) — Saidi Ntibazokinza was Burundi’s shining light as the striker scored twice in The Swallows 3-1 win over Mauritania in Bujumbura, their first victory in Group E.
The striker who scored Burundi’s late equalizer in the first leg 1-1 draw in Nouakchott on Wednesday struck twice for the home side as they raised their tally to 4 points to move to third in the group, just a point behind second-placed Mauritania.
Youssouf Ndayishimiye scored Burundi’s other goal while Mauritania’s single strike was scored by Niass Amadou.
Burundi got into the lead in the sixth minute when Ntibazokinza got to the end of a beautiful team move, side-footing the ball home after a cutback from Marco Weymans on the left following a one-two change of passes with Saido Berahino.
But the visitors drew level in the 26th minute when Amadou tapped home from close range after Cheikh Moulaye headed the ball into the six-yard area from a long pass in midfield.
The two sides went to the break tied at 1-1, but Burundi wound up the game within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Ndayishimiye gave them the lead just a minute after the restart with a powerful diving header off a well delivered Gael Bigirimana freekick from the left.
In the 55th minute, they were 3-1 up when Ntibazokinza completed his brace with a well-delivered freekick that landed in the bottom left of the goal.
Burundi was comfortable and pushed on by the home fans looked all set to confirm the victory. They however survived a moment of nerves in defense when a header from Jimmy Ndaizeye was missed by the keeper after a miscommunication. Lucky for them, Idrissa Thiam placed the shot wide.
On the counter, Burundi should have stretched their lead further in the 74th minute when Berahino released Steve Nzigamasabo on the right, but the midfielder’s low drive was saved by the keeper.