Nigeria, Burkina Faso to meet in African Cup final
Nigeria closed in on its first title since 1994, advancing to
Sunday’s final of the African Cup of Nations against a surprising
Burkina Faso team looking to lift the trophy for the first
Nigeria routed Mali 4-1 in Durban on Wednesday to reach the
final for the first time since losing to Cameroon on penalty kicks
in the 2000 title game. The Super Eagles built a 4-0 lead on goals
by Elderson Echiejile in the 25th, Brown Ideye in the 30th,
Emmanuel Emenike in the 44th and Ahmed Musa in the 60th, then
allowed Cheick Diarra’s goal in the 75th.
At Nelspruit, Burkina Faso upset Ghana 3-2 on penalty kicks
after a 1-1 tie.
”Surprises are always there,” Burkina Faso coach Paul Put
said. ”Maybe this time is our time.”
Wakaso Mubarak put the Black Stars ahead in the 13th minute
after Madi Panandetiguiri fouled Christian Atsu, his fourth goal of
the tournament and third on penalty kicks.
Aristide Bance tied the score in the 60th. Burkina Faso hoped to
be awarded a penalty kick in the 117th minute, but instead Jonathan
Pitroipa was ejected when Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi called him
for diving and gave him his second yellow card.
During the shootout, Ghana’s Isaac Vorsah and Emmanuel Clottey
sent kicks wide, and Agyemang Badu was stopped by Burkina Faso
goalkeeper Daouda Diakite on the final shot.
Bakary Kone, Henri Traore and Bance converted kicks for Burkina
Faso, and Atsu and Harrison Affu made their kicks for Ghana, which
hasn’t won since 1982.
The title game will be played at Soccer City in Johannesburg.
Nigeria will be seeking its third title. It also won in 1980.