Mohamed Yattara of Guinea celebrates goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Burundi and Guinea at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 28 June 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Sunday Jun 30, 2019. 19:57
Burundi’s debut appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations came to an end on Sunday night when they were beaten 2-0 by Guinea in a Group B clash at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.
The result sees the Syli Nationale end in third place in the standings with four points – a tally which may be enough to earn a place in the last 16 of the competition, depending on results in the other groups up to and including Tuesday night.
The Swallows, meanwhile, end bottom of the pool and exit their first ever AFCON with a record of three losses from as many outings. Group B was surprisingly won by debutants Madagascar, who leapfrogged Nigeria with victory in a concurrent game in Alexandria – both teams are safely through to the last 16.
Burundi’s hopes were dealt a major blow as early as the 12th minute when left-back Christophe Nduwarugira under-hit a back pass and then pulled down Sory Kaba just outside the penalty area to prevent the Guinea forward running onto the ball.
Referee Noreddine El Jaafari believed Nduwarugira was guilty of denying a clear scoring opportunity and showed him a straight red card, reducing the Swallows to 10 men.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burundi very nearly opened the scoring just a few minutes later, as Pierre Kwizera hit a fierce long-range effort on target and forced Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone into a wonderful save.
Guinea capitalised on having an extra man and claimed the lead in the 25th minute. A corner kick was worked short to Francois Kamano, whose in-swinging cross was poorly cleared and allowed Mohamed Yattara to stroke home a low shot and put his side 1-0 up.
Burundi managed to see out the remainder of the half and ensure they were only a goal down at the break, but it took just seven minutes of the second stanza for the Syli Nationale to double their advantage.
Yattara was again the goal scorer, this time turning home a cross from Ibrahim Traore following a great passing move from the West Africans to open up their opponent’s defence.
The second goal effectively killed off the game as a contest, with Guinea safe in the knowledge that the three points were well under control and a 10-man Burundi unable to summon the energy to mount a comeback.
Guinea (1) 2 (M. Yattara 25’ 52’)
Burundi: J. Nahimana, Nizigiyimana, Ngando, Nsabiyumva, Nduwarugira, Kwizera, Bigirimana, Moustapha (Duhayindavyi 16’), Abdul-Razak (Berahino 68’), Shabani, Mohamed (Amissi 57’)
Guinea: Kone, Is. Sylla, Seka, Simon, Dyrestam, Diawara, Cisse, M. Yattara (Kante 79’), Kamano (Sankoh 63’), Traore, Kaba (Camara 85’)