Burkina Faso moves on, Zambia out
NELSPRUIT, South Africa (AP)
Defending champion Zambia crashed out of the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday after being held to a 0-0 draw by Burkina Faso, which advanced to the quarterfinals.
With Nigeria beating Ethiopia 2-0 in Rustenburg to advance, a third successive draw was not enough for Zambia to progress.
Burkina Faso sailed through at Zambia's expense, reaching the second round for the first time since it hosted the tournament in 1998 and finishing top of Group C on goal difference.
In a game that was low on quality, Zambia striker Collins Mbesuma missed clear-cut chances either side of the break.
For its part, Burkina Faso knew that a draw was all it needed and was content to flood the midfield and slow down a game that was already held up by a sandy pitch.
Burkina Faso's initial ambition shrunk even further when it lost leading goalscorer Alain Traore to injury in the opening 10 minutes, but Zambia failed to produce the quality required to break its opponents down.
Mbesuma had a gilt-edged opportunity in the 17th minute, but hit Chisamba Lungu's cross straight at Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite.
Rainford Kalaba also forced a save from Diakite in first-half stoppage time as a cross drifted to the back post, but his weak header was easily dealt with.
Zambia flooded forward as the second half wore on, yet the only genuine opportunity came when Mbesuma headed a corner over the crossbar.