Niyongabire Set For Crucial Burundi Clash
Valour FC forward Pacifique Niyongabire is on the cusp of helping Burundi qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Burundi national team will play a crucial group stage qualification match against heavy-hitters Cameroon on September 12, where a win would see them qualify for the tournament, but a scoreless draw would see Namibia, Cameroon, and Burundi all finish level at the top with five points apiece and the same goal difference.
The four-team group stage has been a nail-biter under unique circumstances, with Kenya being disqualified by FIFA to make the group a three-horse race between Namibia, Cameroon, and Burundi.
Burundi opened its group stage account with a draw to Namibia and a loss to Cameroon last year, with Niyongaibre featuring in a 3-2 win over Namibia this summer. Now it’s all down to the wire, with Namibia wrapped at five points and both Cameroon and Burundi opening their last match on four points.
His club Valour has found itself in the midst of a tough season, resting second from the bottom with playoffs looking very unlikely. The Burundian attacker has been a bright note for the CPL side, looking lively in attack despite being limited to one goal with his three assists being good for joint-first in the team.
If Burundi are to break Cameroonian hearts and qualify with a win, they’ll do so away in Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium on Tuesday, September 12.
Niyongabire won’t be the only CPL athlete to feature in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month, with York United’s Brem Soumaoro set to feature for Liberia against Morocco.