Burkina Faso top group after beating Ethiopia

 

Burkina Faso, reduced to 10 men for the last half hour, ended a run of 17 matches and 15 years without an African Nations Cup finals win by beating Ethiopia 4-0 to go top of Group C last night.

The unfancied west Africans won with two stunning left-foot strikes from Alain Traore and goals from Djakaridja Koné and Jonathan Pitroipa.

They took all three points despite having goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama sent off for a careless handball outside his penalty area after an hour.

Burkina Faso have four points from two games, ahead of holders Zambia and Nigeria, who both have two following their earlier 1-1 draw. Ethiopia are bottom with one.

Traore opened the scoring after 34 minutes and hit an unstoppable second 16 minutes from time. Koné slid the ball in after a good move on 79 minutes and Pitroipa struck in stoppage time as Burkina Faso won a finals match for the first time since 1998 when they hosted the event.

The game was disrupted briefly late on when a man ran on to the pitch in his underpants before being intercepted by officials and bundled away.

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama said Egyptian referee Grisha Ghead’s decision to award holders Zambia a late penalty yesterday was “one of the worst calls in . . . football”.

Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene saved a point for the champions by converting the 85th minute spot-kick.

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