Fiston Abdul Razak of Burundi (left)
Friday Nov 16, 2018. 18:42
Burundi have taken a major step toward qualifying for their first Africa Cup of Nations finals after defeating South Sudan 5-2 on Friday afternoon.
The result at the Juba Stadium sent Burundi to the top of Group C in the 2019 AFCON preliminaries and mathematically eliminated South Sudan.
The Swallows now have nine points from five matches at the top of the pool. They will wait to see their position after the second group match is played between Gabon and Mali in Libreville on Saturday, but it is likely that a positive result at home to the Panthers net March will secure a place at the 2019 finals.
The hero for Burundi was forward Fiston Abdul Razak, who struck a hat-trick of goals in between strikes from his teammates Cedric Amissi and Hussein Shabani.
South Sudan opened the scoring through Atak Lual in the 14th minute, but were 2-1 down by half-time thanks to goals from Amissi and Razak in the 17th and 41st minutes respectively.
The hosts pulled it back to 2-2 after Dominic Aboy netted just before the hour mark, but Burundi then took control of the game in the final 30 minutes and romped to an impressive victory.
Razak netted his second and third in the 78th and 89th respectively, before Shabani rounded off the scoring at the death.