Burkina Faso join Nigeria in semi-finals

Mon, Feb 4, 2013, 00:00

Burkina Faso reached the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup for the first since 1998 when a header in extra time from Jonathan Pitroipa gave them a 1-0 win over fellow outsiders Togo last night.

Pitroipa pulled away from his marker at a corner in the last seconds of the first period of extra time to head in off the underside of the bar to put Burkina Faso through to meet Ghana in Nelspruit on Wednesday.

The match, on the hard, sandy pitch at the Mbombela Stadium, seemed destined to go to penalties after 90 minutes of largely uninspiring football, although both sides did have chances to win it in the closing minutes of normal time.

Togos talismanic skipper Emmanuel Adebayor worked tirelessly for his side, who had never reached this stage before, but he was unable to find the net with one effort cleared off the line and another well saved by Burkina goalkeeper Daouda Diakite.

Unheralded Sunday Mba scored 12 minutes from time to hand Nigeria a shock 2-1 quarter-final win and knock favourites Ivory Coast out of the African Nations Cup in Rustenburg yesterday.

The home-based midfielder set up the goal with a mazy run and his shot took a deflection off Souleman Bamba.

Emmanuel Emenike opened the scoring with a long-range shot two minutes before halftime. Cheikh Tiote equalised early in the second half with a header as he stole in unmarked at the back post.

Nigeria play Mali in their semi-final in Durban on Wednesday.

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