Eritrea got their CECAFA Senior Challenge cup campaign onto a flyer, after picking up a 1-0 victory over Burundi in their group A encounter played at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo on Monday afternoon.
What was on paper a fixture tilted in Burundi’s favour, turned out to be by far the most one sided game of the tournament, as Eritrea were dominant and relentless over their opponents.
The scoreline is not a fair reflection of the game, as the Eritreans created a mammoth of opportunities but failed to take them away.
With only 10 minutes on the clock, Eritrea had already breached Burundi’s defence twice, but Mutombora either came to his nations rescue, or Eritrea were let down by their poor finishing.
By the half hour mark, it was a question of by how many, as Burundi struggled to tame the relentless Eritreans.
In the 33rd minute, the Burundians almost went ahead, save for a proper goalline clearance from defender Solomon Abel.
Eritrea also had another episode of misfortune, Ali Suleman denied by the upright, with goalkeeper Mutombora comprehensively beaten.
Right at the death of half time, Eritrea finally broke the deadlock, Robel Kidane on hand to poke home the rebound after Mutombora spilled the ball into his path.
The second half continued on a similar script as the first, with Eritrea the more creative side. In the 48th minute, Kibane almost had his brace, but Mutombora superbly saved for a corner.
There was almost no more action to write home about, as Burundi coach Niyunoeko Oliver called for changes; Aime Gakiza Nyandwi, Hubert Nsabimana and Paoul Vyamungu came on for Elphase Ndayisenga, Claude Jean Ndarusanze, and Olivier Dusabe respectively as Burundi chased the game.
But Eritrea held on to pick up all three points, condemning Burundi to their second loss of the tournament leaving their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals hanging by a thread.
Eritrea go up against hosts Uganda in their second game of the group stage on Wednesday, December, 11th. Burundi also return to action on the same day against Djibouti.