Burkina Faso reach first AFCON final
Burkina Faso will play the final of the Orange Africa cup of nations for the first time in their history as they beat Ghana 3-2 tonight on penalties at the Mbombela stadium.
The Stallions cancelled out Mubarak’s first half opener to take the winning option. Bance fired the first shot wide off the post for Burkina Faso just a couple of minutes into the encounter. The stallions also had an early penalty shout when Pitroipa surged into the Ghana 18 yard box and was barged by Boye. Unfortunately that was given a death ear by the referee. In the 12th minute, Atsu went for a header in the box and was touched by Panandetiguiri making the Black Stars win a penalty. Mubarak took the kick and sent the ball into the right bottom corner to put Ghana ahead. The Burkinabe appeared quite furious with the referee as there seemed to be a very little contact between Atsu and Panandetiguiri. Pitroipa later struck after some good build up play by Burkina Faso but the ball could not reach its destination. In the 29th, Bance slid the ball to Nakoulma who sent it widely over. Gyan had only the goalkeeper to beat few minutes after but he took too long to go for his shot choosing an impossible angle. A series of chances followed with Kabore firing the ball forward for Nakoulma who made a superb run towards Ghana’s goal just to see his shot blast high into the stands. After another unsuccessful penalty appeal by Burkina Faso, Asante failed to double their lead as his shot flew across the bar. Ghana continued trying to keep possession and maintained the 1-0 lead until the break. The Black Stars had a bright start to the second half forcing a corner inside the opening minute. However, some physical play from Gyan saw the ball handed back to Burkina Faso. The Stallions pushed continuously for an equalizer and their effort paid off in the 60th minute. A brilliant ball fell to the feet of Aristides Bance who fired superbly past Dauda making it 1-1. The equalizer increased urgency in both sides with Burkina Faso leading the ball possession until the end of regular time. The final decision was to be taken in the extra half hour.
The Black Stars kept hanging at times and were lucky to see a Burkina Faso goal disallowed and not to concede a penalty. In the penalty shootout, Ghana missed three spot kicks to hand the Stallions the place in the final of the Africa cup of nations for the very first time. They meet Nigeria Sunday in Johannesburg.
For the second time in its history of participation to the Africa Cup of Nations, Burkina Faso makes it to the semifinals stage. On Wednesday, 6th February 2013, the Stallions meet Ghana’s Black Stars on the grass of Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, at 6:30PM GMT (8:30 PM in Nelspruit).
The Black Stars of Ghana will be playing their fourth consecutive semifinal of the nations’ cup as they meet Burkina Faso this Wednesday evening at the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit. A win for the Accra boys will see them play their second final of the tournament in three years. They have so far recorded one draw and three victories at South Africa 2013 while the Stallions have two draws and two wins. Both sides have met 17 times; Ghana winning in 12 occasions with a draw. This will be Burkina Faso’s first semifinal out of their country as they last reached the last four in 1998 as hosts.