Burkina Faso recorded a gruelling 7-6 penalty shootout win over Gabon to reach the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw.
The two sides met at the start of the year in a warm-up match which Burkina Faso won comfortably, 3-0, and they went ahead when Bertrand Traore grabbed the first goal.
The Villa forward missed a penalty after Sidney Obissa’s heavy tackle in the box, but minutes later converted a much harder chance when he sized up a one-on-one with Jean-Noel Amonome, clipping the ball around him outside the box.
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In the second half, Gabon struggled for rhythm and they had what looked to be a good penalty claim turned down for a foul on Guelor Kanga from a defensive error.
Issouf Outtara was then pulled back by Obissa, just outside the box, reducing the trailing side to 10 men and making their task all the harder.
Both sides faded as the game became ragged from the sheer fatigue, until Bruno Ecuele Manga popped up with a late header, deflected in by Adama Guira, to force extra time.
Edmond Tapsoba thought he had an extra-time winner but his effort was disallowed for his earlier offside, and after 18 penalties, Ismahila Ouedraogo scored to win the game for his country.

TALKING POINT - Gabon let themselves down

They went into the match unbeaten and despite a warm-up loss to the same side earlier in January, they looked to have the measure of their opponents in the early stages.
However indiscipline cost them as they conceded a penalty and what would turn out to be a crucial yellow, before slack defending allowed Traore to grab the winner.
In the second half they looked as likely to score as their opponents, until another reckless, pointless Obissa decision reduced them to 10 men and left them gasping for a chance as their opponents had them on the ropes. Perhaps the extra energy may have prevented a missed penalty or two.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)

The Aston Villa forward was not on the pitch for the shootout but the way he led the line and stretched play, not to mention his goal, was crucial in getting Gabon fatigued. Without him Gabon could have pressed their earlier advantage and may never have fallen behind.

Burkina Faso's forward Bertrand Traore celebrates

Image credit: Getty Images


Burkina Faso: Koffi 7; E.Tapsoba 6, Dayo, Yago 6, Kaboré 6; Guira 6, Touré 6; B.Traoré 7, Sangare 6, Bandé 6; Ouattara 6. Subs: Sanogo 6, Konate 6, Simpore 6, Ngakoutou 6, A. Tapsoba 7, Ouedraogo 7.
Gabon: Amonome 5; Oyono 6, Obiang 6, Obissa 4, Ecuele Manga 6, Palun 6; Poko 6, Kanga 6, Moucketou 5; Allevinah 5, Boupendza 5. Subs: Ameka 6, Bouanga 6, Meye 6.


16’ - PENALTY! Kabore is shoved by Obissa in the box as he darts to the touchline. Kabore is down receiving treatment, and Obissa is booked.
18’ - MISSED! Traore fires the ball straight at the crossbar and it flies up and away!
28’ - GOAL! Burkina Faso 1-0 Gabon (Traore): The forward is slipped in by Bande, who waits for the 'keeper to come out, and he rolls the ball around him, against the post, for the opener.
41’ - BOUPENDZA SCORES.... NO! The striker receives a ball fired into the box, cuts the ball back and away from the defender, and fires in past the 'keeper. We'll look on VAR, but it's still ruled out.
67’- RED CARD! OBISSA OFF - Obissa pulls back Outtara just outside the box, and receives his second yellow.
90+1’ - GOAL! Burkina Faso 1-0 Gabon (Guira og): From a corner, Manga pops up near the penalty area to bundle home the equaliser off Adama Guira
101’ - GOAL! NO! TAPSOBA'S GOAL DISALLOWED - He was offside in the build-up, and he wheels away in celebration, and is booked for his trouble.
106’- TAPSOBA ALMOST WINS IT - He runs onto a great Sanogo cross and sidefoots a volley towards goal that is straight at the 'keeper.


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