Nerveless Burkina Faso win dramatic penalty shootout to reach Afcon last-eight

Menzi Magubane

Burkina Faso became the first team to progress to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarter-finals after defeating 10-man Gabon 7-6 on penalties.

The Stallions took the lead in the 28th minute through their top striker Bertrand Traore from a Dango Outtara assist.

His stunning strike outside the box meant the Stallions went into the interval with a precious lead. As expected, the second half saw Burkina Faso dominating the proceedings as they pushed for the second goal but it was not to come. 

However, stubborn Gabon held their ground and fought back but they too could not utilise their chances. 

In the 67th minute the Panthers were dealt a massive setback when Sidney Obissa was sent off after being shown his second yellow card.

As much as Burkina Faso tried to use the extra man advantage, they could not break the stubborn Gabonese defence. 

The Panthers pushed on and they were eventually awarded for that – even though the goal did not come from their own man, but they all count.

Through hard pressing from Gabon, Adama Guira turned the ball into his own net in the 91st minute. That equalising goal forced the match to go to extra time with the scoreline being 1-1. 

If there was a game in this tournament that Gabon needed their captain Pierre-Emireck Aubameyang, this was it. His experience up front was needed as they failed to convert a number of scoring chances. 

Unfortunately, even after the 30 extra minutes, the two could not be separated – the match had to be decided by penalties.

The win sees the Stallions edging close to the title. In their last Afcon in 2017, Burkina Faso finished in third place after beating Ghana for the bronze medal. 

Image source: @CAF_Online

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