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Burkina Faso 1-0 Togo


Pitroipa: Winning goal

Pitroipa: Winning goal

Jonathan Pitroipa's headed extra-time goal sealed Burkina Faso's passage to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals at the expense of Togo at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday evening.


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There was no separating the two sides over the course of ninety minutes with both coming close to breaking the deadlock, but it took until the 104th minute for an unmarked Pitroipa to head home Charles Kabore's corner from the right-hand side off the underside of the cross bar.

The Stallions will now face Ghana in the second semi-final at the same stadium on Wednesday with Mali facing Nigeria in the other match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Emmanuel Adebayor was again his industrious self and a constant threat to the Stallions, with the big Tottenham striker showing his attacking intentions early on with a purposeful forward run down the left flank only to be stopped by an excellent covering tackle from Mohamed Koffi.

Koffi then pressed forward himself, chesting the ball down before smashing a shot goalward that was ultimately easy pickings for Agassa Kossi in the Togo goal.

Issouf Ouattara was next to drive his side forward with a run down the left, leaving Vincent Bossou for dead, but he wasted his chance to deliver a good ball into the box with his cross going directly out of play.

Pitroipa's first chance of the game came as he cut inside from the right hand side before unleashing a stinging shot that was blocked by Bossou.

Floyd Ayite then wasted a great chance to give Togo the lead with a tepid shot right in front of goal. Alaixys Ramao set Serge Gakpe away down the right with a neat chipped ball, which was then cut back for the waiting Ayite who only managed to scuff his shot.

Ouattara headed just wide of the target after a good cross from Wilfried Sanou following some good build up play with Kabore, while Burkina Faso's best chance went a begging with Pitroipa unable to put the final touch to a good move that saw Sanou's goalward shot hit the heel of Bossou before falling to the frontman.

Komlan Amewou and Ramao both tried their luck with shots from range as the first half came to an end while Saidou Panandetiguiri cleared off the line for Burkina Faso at the start of the second period as Adebayor got onto the end of a Gakpe cross - although he made contact with his shoulder.

Togo threatened again moments later with Amewou denied a shooting chance before Floyd Ayite's cross was well cut out by Koffi.

And with the final whistle approaching, Kabore fired high and wide after a well executed free-kick saw Sanou square the ball to his teammate on the edge of the box.

Kossi Segbefia came even closer to scoring after a poor defensive header from Paul Koulibaly but he was unable to keep his shot down.

Adebayor was then unlucky to see goalkeeper Diakite pull off a great low save at his near post after the striker had ridden two challenges, from Koulibaly and Bakary Kone to get into the box.

Chances in extra-time where few and far between with Kossi making a good low save to deny Abdou Razak Traore from a tight angle out wide on the left before Koulibaly kept his composure to time his tackle inside the box on Adebayor well.

But there was to be a goal in this match after all as Pitroipa rose to powerfully head home Kabore's corner and end Togo's AFCON dream and save us all from the lottery of penalties.

Posted: 03/02/13 22:14

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