Africa: Late Winner Confirms Burkina Faso Top Spot, Namibia Eliminated

Substitute Kouame Botue scored a 90th minute header to give Burkina Faso a hard fought 1-0 victory over Namibia on Sunday to progress to the quarter finals of the Total Africa U-20 Cup of Nations as Group B winners.

The trilling encounter looked set for a draw at the Stade Cheikha Boidiya in Nouakchott with both sides going toe to toe as they fight for a knockout place.

Botue decided the brushing contests with a calm header into, when Tiendreogo connected with a floated cross behind the Namibian defence towards his path to send his side to the last eight and eliminate the Namibians, who were appearing for the first time in the tournament.

The Stallions dominated possession but struggled to find the opening in the early stages of the highly contested match in the Mauritanian capital.

It was the Namibians who were pushing for an opener in the opening exchanges, their counter attacking play presented them some half changes in the Burkinabe area.

Captain Steven Damaseb was a constant menace in the Burkina half, running through the defence to pick the advancing Prins Tijueza with a neat through ball, the winger's effort hit the side netting after 5 minutes.

Prins won a free kick just outside the Burkina box, his curling drive brushed off the side netting before the break. The two teams battled through the half time whistle with nothing separating them under the beaming floodlights.

Burkina came from the break with a bit more purpose and zeal as they pushed more men forward with their swift breaks on the counter.

Marauding full back saw his fierce set piece missed the target on the hour mark before sending an inviting delivery into box which was hastily cleared by the Namibia defence.

Kabore was denied by the Namibia keeper twenty minutes from time, the strong forward twist and turned in the box with his back towards goal before managing a half volley which was blocked by the keeper.

The closing stages saw the two sides going for the winner and Namibia came close in the last quarter with a half volley Prins Tijueza which missed the target.

The Burkinabe broke Namibia's hearts when Kouame guided his header into an empty on the stroke of full time.

Kabore'e floated cross towards the area was not dealt with by the Namibian defence; Tiendrebeogo was the first to react and played in Kouame to finish and send his to the summit.

Burkina Faso finished the group with seven points; three more than second place Central African Republic who beat third place Tunisia 2-1 in at the Stade Olympic, whiles Namibia finished at the bottom of the pool with one point.

Post-match reactions

Oscar Barro, Burkina Faso coach

We took our time being careful because we knew Namibia was going to wear out. They are a very technical team so we could not throw ourselves into a match where our line of attack, especially our off-center attackers, were not in full possession of their means. We had to negotiate and we found the solution at the end of the game to win the game.

James Britz, Namibia coach

We came to this tournament with a lot of motivation and gave everything we needed to win games. We failed to do so. Like tonight, we came across stronger than us. We are eliminated but we have learned a lot with a young team which has just taken part in its second competition after the COSAFA Cup. We will come back stronger next time.

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