Pitroipa heads Stallions into semis
Jonathan Pitroipa’s header in extra time was all Burkina Faso needed to secure a semifinal berth at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The 1-0 victory at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday evening sees the Burkinabe Stallions book a showdown against fellow West African outfit Ghana at the same venue on Wednesday.
As early the sixth minute Burkina Faso shown their intentions when Togo keeper Agassa held a long range Mohammed Koffi strike, as the Burkina Faso man ripped out a venomous effort from 40-yards on the right flank.
In the 18th minute the Togolese fluffed a golden opportunity. It was a great chance for Togo as Gakpe found space on the right. He broke to the by-line and pulled the ball back for Ayite.
However, the ball was caught up in the poor turf and his shot bounced comfortably into the hands of Burkina Faso keeper Daouda Diakite.
A flurry of long range shots from either side, especially from Togo, was the norm in the first half but neither ‘keeper had been tested in the first 45 minutes.
Two minutes into the second half, the Togolese had premature celebrations when Gakpe crossed for Adebayor, who headed past Burkinabe keeper Diakite with the ball destined for the back of the net, only for Panandetiguiri to hook clear off the line.
Adebayor had another chance in the 78th minute when he did brilliantly to bring the ball down and charged past Koulibaly and Kone. He drove down the right before firing at goal. Diakite, however, narrowed the angle and pulled out a fine stop to deny the Togo striker.
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Five minutes later Burkina Faso’s Nakoulma was fed through down the left. He cut onto this right foot before cutting again onto his left. His touch was heavy, however, and he put the ball out of play for a goal kick
The match proceeded to extra time and the Burkinabe took the lead just seconds from the end of the first half. Skipper Charles Kabore's corner picked out Pitroipa unmarked at the near post. He headed against the bar and into the back of the net with Agassa in no man’s land.
Burkina Faso (0) (0) 1 (Pitroipa 105’)
Burkina Faso: Daouda, Bakary Kone, Kambore, Panandetiguiri, Pitroipa (Rouamba 109), Paul, Djakaridja Kone, Ouattaran (Nakoulma 66’),Kofi, Dagano, Sanou (A Traore 96’)
Togo: Agassa, Nibombe, Mamah, Amewou (Salifou 116’), Bossou, Romao, Gakpe, Djene, Adebayor, Akakpo (Wome 107’), F Ayite (Segbefia 67’)