Burundi and Gambia kick off Group F of the 2026 World Cup at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium on Thursday, seeking a positive start to their World Cup campaign.
Burundi faced a 3-0 defeat against Cameroon in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers, finishing bottom of Group C. Currently 142nd in FIFA World Rankings, Burundi has struggled, winning only one of their last seven matches.
Gambia, in contrast, showed resilience with a comeback from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against Congo Republic. Having made their first AFCON appearance in 2021, Gambia aims for success in the World Cup qualifiers.
Fiston Abdul Razak and Shassir Nahimana headline Burundi’s squad, while Gambia includes goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye, Ebou Adams, and captain Omar Colley.
Musa Barrow is set to lead Gambia’s attack, supported by Assan Ceesay and Ebrima Colley. Teenage midfielder Mahmudu Bajo earns his maiden call-up to the Gambia senior squad.