Burkina Faso draw against Ethiopia to advance to the second round

Burkina Faso secured a place in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations after Cyrille Bayala’s goal in the first half helped them to an uninspiring 1-1 draw against Ethiopia and second place in Group A at Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam on Monday.

Bayala netted halfway through the opening period but his goal was interrupted by an 82nd penalty by Ethiopian striker Getaneh Kebede who gave his side their only point of the tournament.

Hosts Cameroon are at the top with seven points followed by four from Burkina Faso, who clinched the Cape Verde Islands to third place on the head-to-head rule. The latter are now facing an anxious wait to see if they are one of the top four third-placed teams to advance.

Ethiopia are eliminated but will be happy with a much better defensive performance, while the 2013 finalists in Burkina Faso have a lot to improve if they are to go deep into the tournament.

Burkina will face Group C in the next stage, which will be either Morocco, Gabon or Ghana, but most likely one of the latter two.

The concern for coach Kamou Malo will be how his team was second best during much of the match on Monday against a team they expected to beat.

Goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo, who was in the Burkinabe team after Herve Koffi, as usual number one, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, had to make two excellent stops to deny Kebede.

But it was the West Africans who took the lead with a goal that was simple in their creation.

Adama Guira’s long ball was chased by Bayala, who surpassed the defenders and lobbed Ethiopia’s goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko with a nice finish.

It was as good as it got for Malo’s men, and Ethiopia were even seven minutes into the second period after being awarded a point kick for Steeve Yago’s handball from a corner.

The decision was reviewed and was correct. Kebede put his penalty in the bottom corner to make his side level.

(REUTERS)

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