Burundi's goalkeeper warns teammates on threat posed by Kenneth Muguna & Co ahead of crunch encounter

Burundi's goalkeeper warns teammates on threat posed by Kenneth Muguna & Co ahead of crunch encounter

Mark Kinyanjui 05:06 - 06.06.2024

Burundi keeper Jonathan Nahimana warns teammates about Harambee Stars players including Kenneth Muguna ahead of their encounter on Friday.

Burundi’s first choice goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana has expressed a desire to gain revenge over Harambee Stars, who beat them in the 2017 CECAFA Challenge Cup held in Kenya the last time they faced each other.

Nahimana, who has earned 34 caps for the Swallows,  believes that both countries have what it takes to return to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and seal a ticket to the World Cup.

The Burundian national football team crossed the border to Kenya back in 2017 with hopes of clinching the CECAFA Senior Challenge.

Their quest for the regional title was well on course to the extent of navigating through the group, and quarter final stages of the tournament hosted in three cities: Machakos, Kakamega and Kisumu.

The Intamba m’Urugamba, loosely translated as the Swallows however met their match in Kenya in the semis, losing 1-0 in a match staged at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu, halting their dream.

Former AFC Leopards, Mathare United, Wazito and Bandari midfielder Whyvonne Isuza netted in the extra time to send the Harambee Stars to the final with Burundi, sadly crashing out of the tournament.

Revenge will be assuredly in the minds of the Swallows when they face Stars for the first time since the painful CECAFA defeat on June 7 in a 2026 World Cup Qualifier in Malawi.

No player in the Burundian provisional squad for the double World Cup Qualifiers in June understands what the CECAFA beating at the hands of Kenya meant or felt, better than goalkeeper, Jonathan Nahimana.

The experienced goalkeeper was in goal in the 2017 match and is expected to keep his place in next month’s duel against Kenya that will be played at the Bingu National Stadium.

Ahead of the contest, Nahimana, who has been the preferred starter for a long time, expects a tough match and a win for Burundi in the end.

“I still have memories of the CECAFA defeat to Kenya close to seven years ago. We meet again next month in a very important game,” the goalkeeper told Sports Boom

“It will be a tough one as both teams are from the same region, and each will be pushing hard for a win. 

“Our preparations are going on well as the local-based players and a few internationals are already in camp,” he said.