7 February 2013

Burkina Faso: Burkina Surprise Black Stars

For the first time in history, the Stallions of Burkina Faso have qualified for the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after stunning much fancied Ghana with a 3-2 defeat in post match penalties in a match played on Wednesday night at the Mbombela stadium.

It was in the shootout that Ghana terribly fell to the Burkinabe. After 120 minutes of a draw 1-1, the two teams had to separate on penalties to decide who meets Nigeria in the finals of the 2013 edition.

Meanwhile Mubarak Wakaso scored the first goal of the semi-final from penalty spot to give Ghana the lead before a second half goal from Aristide Bance and this leveled matters and in the end we saw Burkina Faso into their first ever Africa Cup of Nations final.

Seven minutes after kick off, the Black Stars suffered a massive set-back when they lost their right-back, John Panstil, who pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Solomon Asante.

Still, despite the reshuffling of the pack, Ghana did not let the disruption disturb their play and they earned a penalty five minutes later when the referee, perhaps harshly so, adjudged Mady Panandetiguiri to have pulled down Christian Atsu inside the box.

Mubarak Wakaso proceeded to step up and scored his third penalty of the tournament to give Ghana the lead in the semi-final, 1-0 and score his fourth goal of the competition.

Burkina Faso enjoyed most of the possession in the opening periods of the game but it was Ghana who looked the more threatening side when going forward.

Man of the match Aristide Bance was left unmarked at a corner-kick, but he saw his powerful header from 12-yards out brilliantly saved by the Ghanaian keeper, using the underside of the post and his palm to avoid the goal being scored.

A mistake in defence by Ghana saw Bance through on goal after a sublime pass from Charles Kabore, and the tall striker made no mistake with just the keeper to beat as he produced a clinical finish to level matters, 1-1.

Neither side could go on to find the winner in regular time as the match moved into extra time.

Three missed penalties from Ghana by Isaac Vorsah, Emmanuel Clottey and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu saw Burkina Faso win 3-2 on penalties and into their first ever AFCON final.

Only Christian Atsu and Harrison Afful managed to convert from the 12 yards for Ghana. On the other hand, Aristide Bance, Bakery Kone and Traore netted.

Ghana will meet Mali in the third place play off on Saturday while Burkina Faso faces off with Nigeria in the finals on Sunday.

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