By Usher Kamugisha
Burundi registered a historic victory over Zanzibar to get their campaign off to a flying start at the Cecafa Women's Championship at Njeru Technical Center in Jinja, Uganda.
Djazilla Uwimeza and Aziza Misigiyimana scored two quick-fire goals in the 19th and 21st minutes to give Daniella Niyibimenya’s side a well deserved lead having dominated possession in the lead up to finding the back of the net.
Reigning champions Zanzibar, who won the last edition in 1986 in their backyard, were dealt a huge blow when goalkeeper Amina Mohamed Kitambi was shown a straight red by referee Caroline Wanjala for holding the ball outside the penalty box.
Zanzibar Queens head coach Suleiman Hassan Mustafa made a rather interesting decision when she decided to hand defender Mtumwa Ali Khatib goalkeeping duties instead of second-choice goalkeeper Khadija Ali Saleh .
Mtumwa did not have it easy as she conceded a goal within the first minute of her assignment as Nella Uwimana found the back of the net in the 33rd minute to give Burundi a 3-0 lead.
Zanzibar pulled one back after Mwajuma Abdallah sent Burundian captain and goalkeeper Belinda Ndoraho the wrong way from the penalty spot after a foul in the box.
Burundi’s Joelle Bukuru, Uwimeza and Maggy Mumezero netted in the 39th, 43rd and 45th minutes to extend Burundi’s lead to 6-1 at the half-time break as Zanzibar continued to pay the price of one player less.
Uwimeza completed her hat-trick in the 59th minute before substitute Saidi Sakina netted the eighth goal for Burundi. Mumezero and Sakina registered a brace each as they handed Burundi a remarkable 10-1 victory over Zanzibar.
With the win, Burundi go top of Group A with a +9 goal difference to show their intent at this tournament that they believe they can win at their first outing.