3 February 2013

Togo/Burkina Faso: Burkinabe Pile On Pressure to Win in Extra Time

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Komlan Amewou of Togo battles with Jonathan Pitroipa of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso have booked their place in the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a 1-0 extra-time victory over Togo in Nelspruit on Sunday night.

Jonathan Pitriopa got the all-important goal just before the end of the first half of extra time to set up a meeting with Ghana in the Last Four.

It is tough on Togo, who had their chances to win the game, but failed to convert and for them the dream dies at the quarter-final stage.

After Burkina Faso started the match the brighter, it was Togo who had the first chance to score when Serge Gakpe found Jonathan Ayite in the penalty area. But Ayite could not finish.

It was the best opening of a half that failed to capture the imagination, with Togo mostly happy to sit back and absorb the Burkinabe pressure.

There was drama just minutes into the second period when Togo forward Emmanuel Adebayor brilliantly beat two Burkinabe defenders to the ball and headed goalwards. But his effort was cleared off the line by Saidou Panandetiguiri.

Togo's chances kept coming, with Vincent Bossou heading wide from a corner, while Prince Segbefia fired over the bar when well placed.

Burkina Faso star Badara Diatta thought he should have had a penalty when he was upended in the box, but the referee waved play on. It was an unlucky moment for Paul Put's men: replays showed contact.

There were openings at either end for Adebayor and Pitriopa, but the 90 minutes eventually finished 0-0.

Burkina Faso began to wrestle control of the game in extra time, substitute Abdou Traore shooting just wide from a tight angle with only the keeper to beat.

And when the Togolese defenders went to sleep during a Charles Kabore corner, Pitriopa was on hand to head home at the near post.

The Burkinabe were able to slow the play down in the closing minutes, taking every opportunity for a stoppage to break the rhythm of the Hawks.

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