Down to 10 men, Burkina Faso secured a 4-0 victory over Ethiopia in their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash in Nelspruit on Friday night.
The scoreline was a little harsh on the Ethiopians, who would have been good value for a point at least, but were undone by some wonderful goals from Alain Traore, who scored a brace, Djakaridja Kone and the excellent Jonathan Pitroipa.
Burkinabe goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama was sent off 30 minutes before the end, but his teammates held on for a win that gives them an excellent chance of making the quarter-finals.
Ethiopia started much the brighter side and rattled the woodwork inside the opening five minutes, Shimeles Bekele smashing the ball against the crossbar after bursting into the Burkina Faso penalty area.
Star man Saladin Said then had a sight of goal himself, volleying over the bar from a tight angle as the Walya Antelopes pressed for the opener.
But after Burkina Faso had a goal rightly ruled out for offside, it was they who took the lead on 34 minutes, Traore crashing the ball home from 10 yards.
Goalkeeper Soulama received his marching orders for handling the ball outside of the penalty area. The referee's decision was correct, but showed the inconsistency of officiating in this tournament - Ghana gloveman Fatawu Dauda had received just a yellow for a similar offence against Mali.
However, Ethiopia could not make their numerical advantage count and were two behind when Traore fired the ball home again from Pitroipa’s flick, a wonderful strike that is a possible early contender for Goal of the Tournament.
The Ethiopians were forced forward in search of a way back into the game and that was always going to leave them vulnerable at the back.
Kone punished them with a third goal on 79 minutes to seal the points for Burkina Faso and take them to the top of Group C going into the final round of matches.
The final goal came deep into injury time, when another incisive breakaway from the Burkinabe saw Pitroipa presented with a simple chance. He lashed the ball into the back of the net.
Burkina Faso now head Group C with four points, following by Zambia and Nigeria on two, and Ethiopia having managed just a single point so far.
The final round of matches will be played on Tuesday, when Zambia take on Burkina Faso and Ethiopia face Nigeria.