Spain-bound Shabani Iddi Chilunda scored four goals as defending champions Azam cruised into the semi-finals of the Cecafa Kagame Cup after a 4-2 win over Rwandese side Rayon Sports here at the National Stadium on Monday.
Abdul Rwatubyaye and Djabel Manishimwe scored Rayon's two goals but the damage had already been done in the third last eight encounter.
The home side will now face Kenyan champions Gor Mahia in the first semi-final on Wednesday afternoon, in what will be a repeat of the 2015 final staged here with Azam emerging 2-0 winners.
"We controlled the game despite playing against a physically strong side, however, we conceded two goals due to individual mistakes and this is something we've to rectify before our next match," said Azam coach, Dutchman Hans Van der Pluijm, whilst congratulating four-goal hero Chilunda, who is set to join Spanish Segunda side CD Tenerife.
His opposite number, Brazilian Oliveira Goncalves said he had achieved his target by reaching the last eight.
Gor coach Kerr lauds team's fighting spirit
"I am just 11 days into this job. I had a target of reaching the quarters which I've attained, though I would've wished to advance further. We, however, pick the positives and focus on future assignments," said the Rayon tactician.
Azam took control from the word go and Chilunda opened the floodgates in the 18th minute with a glancing header from a corner kick.
Aggrey Morris failed to double the lead with a 22nd minute penalty following a handball in the box. The skipper blasted wide from 12 yards much to the chagrin of the Azam technical bench.
Chilunda then netted his second three minutes after the half hour mark capitalising on Rayon's defensive lapse to bury home from the edge of the box.
The unstoppable youngster claimed his hat-trick in the 39th minute placing the ball past the helpless Rayon goalkeeper Kassim Ndayisenga, after being fed by Frank Domayo.
Rayon pulled back one through Rwatubyaye Abdul three minutes to the breather, but Chilunda made it four lurching onto a long ball from Mudathir Yahya to break on the counter and net his seventh goal in the tournament in the 66th minute.