BURKINA FASO booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Gabon.
A first half goal from Aston Villa’s Bertrand Traore looked like it was going to be the winner until a Gabon equaliser deep in added time called for another half hour.
Burkina Faso’s players celebrate after beating Gabon on penaltiesCredit: AFP
Burkina Faso are the first team to book their place in the AFCON quarter-finalsCredit: AFP
But the sides couldn’t be separated after extra time, and so the AFCON last-16 clash headed to a dreaded penalty shootout.
And the drama that ensued at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon was almost too much to comprehend.
BOTH sides failed with their fourth and sixth spot kicks, before Lloyd Palun’s miss meant Ismahila Ouedraogo stepped up to score the winner, dramatically sending Burkina Faso through to the last-eight 7-6 on penalties.
Traore had earlier opened the scoring for Burkina Faso on 28 minutes, and in doing so made amends for an earlier penalty miss.
The Aston Villa man coolly slotted past the onrushing Jean-Noel Amonome after being played clean through on goal.
It was redemption for Traore after he had missed a golden chance to put Burkina Faso 1-0 up from the penalty spot ten minutes earlier.
Traore put Burkina Faso ahead in the first half with a well taken goalCredit: Rex
He saw his effort cannon off the bar after Sidney Obissa was perhaps harshly judged to have shoved over Issa Kabore in the box.
Obissa was then given his marching orders in the second half, although his cynical pull-back on Dango Ouattara meant he had nothing to complain about this time around.
But the ten men of Gabon clung on as Burkina Faso squandered multiple chances to put the game to bed.
And in the end they were punished in the closing stages of the game.
A corner deep into stoppage time was bundled over the line from close range, officially going down as an Adama Guira own goal.
Gabon were playing without Arsenal man Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang after the striker was sent home last week with health issues.
And despite battling hard with ten men and without their talisman, Gabon’s late goal was in vein, as Burkina Faso regrouped and came out on top following the shootout.
They will now take on the winners of Nigeria vs Tunisia in the last-eight.
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