AFCON U23 Qualifiers: Vipers’ Mutombora stretchered off as Burundi ejects Tanzania

SINAN RAJUB SENOGA

Tanzania 3-1 Burundi (Agg. 3-3)
Burundi advance courtesy of away goals rule

Vipers SC’s first choice goalkeeper Fabien Mutombora was stretchered off the pitch after sustaining a knee injury as Burundi eliminated Tanzania in the AFCON U23 Qualifiers at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Mutombora was involved in a nasty collision with Tanzania’s onrushing attacker Mbaraka Yusuf Obed minutes before he left the field in tears at the hour mark.

Burundi came into the return leg match with a two-goal cushion having won the first leg last Wednesday courtesy of Cedrick Mavango and Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana.

Habib Kyombo and Mbaraka Yusuf Obed levelled the aggregate score with first half goals in the 4th and 43rd minutes respectively.

15 minutes into the second half, Mutombora was replaced by Ntibahezwa Dieudonne who was later at fault for conceding the third goal to Salum Kihimbwa in the 70th minute.

Youssouf Ndayishimye saved Burundi’s day with a priceless goal from a corner kick in the 90th minute. A 3-1 result meant both sides are tied at 3-3 but Burundi slightly edge the hosts thanks to the away goals rule.

Burundi will face Congo Brazzaville in the second qualification round of the AFCON U23 tournament scheduled for Egypt next year.

The steady Vipers shot stopper is on a high risk of missing out on the crucial encounter against Sudanese outfit El Merrikh in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League next week.

In any unfortunate case of Mutombora being sidelined, budding goalkeepers Bashir Sekagya and Derrick Ochan are his immediate replacements.

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