Monday Jan 17, 2022. 19:39
Burkina Faso are safely through to the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations after they played out a 1-1 draw with Group A rivals Ethiopia at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam on Monday evening.
The Stallions finished level on points with third-placed Cape Verde (who held group winners Cameroon 1-1 in a concurrent game in Yaounde) but were ranked ahead of the Blue Sharks on head-to-head results.
The Walia Ibex, meanwhile, finished fourth with just one point and were eliminated from the tournament.
The first chance of the match went the way of Ethiopia in the 10th minute, with Getaneh Kebede picking up a cutback from Abubeker Nasir and firing on target, but goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo made an excellent save diving to his right.
A minute later, at the other end, a mistake from Yared Baye in defence for Ethiopia presented a glaring chance for Hassane Bande, but the striker snatched at his shot and failed to beat goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko.
Burkina Faso, though, did not have to wait long to take the lead: Adama Guira provided a perfectly weighted ball over the defence, allowing Cyrille Bayala to lob an effort over the advancing Shanko for 1-0 in the 25th minute.
The Walia Ibex looked for an equaliser and had a fine chance on 35 minutes, with Dawa Hotessa teeing up Kebede for a shot inside the penalty area, but Ouedraogo made another impressive save to deny the striker.
The half-time break arrived with the Stallions still 1-0 up and very much in control of their destiny as far as advancing into the knockout phase was concerned.
However, early in the second stanza, Ethiopia were awarded a penalty for a hand-ball from Steeve Yago – with the decision taken thanks to a VAR review. Kebede took on the responsibility of the spot kick and coolly converted for 1-1 in the 52nd minute.
The Burkinabe had a chance to reclaim the lead on 64 minutes when Bertrand Traore teed up substitute Dango Ouattara, but he blazed his effort off target from the left of the penalty area.
Ethiopia should have flooded forward in the dying minutes in search of a goal to keep their tournament hopes alive, but it was Burkina Faso who looked the likelier scorers, though no goal was forthcoming.
Nonetheless, the Stallions were happy to see out the draw and claim a result which puts them through to the next phase of the AFCON.
Burkina Faso (1) 1 (Bayala 25’)
Ethiopia (0) 1 (Kebede 52’ pen)
Burkina Faso: F. Ouedraogo, Kabore, Dayo, E. Tapsoba, Yago, Guira, Sangare (Ouedraogo 63’), Toure, Bayala (Ouattara 63’), B. Traore, Bande (Sanogo 76’)
Ethiopia: Shanko, Tunjo, Tamene, Baye, Yusef, Yohannes, Endashaw (Tafesse 60’), Hotessa (Meleyo 60’), Dagnachew (Gebremichael 75’), Nasir, Kebede