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Courageous fight back sees Burkina Faso draw Algeria in Marrakech

A strong start and first half goal made it appear that Algeria would roll to yet another comfortable victory, but Les Étalons of Burkina Faso revived themselves during the halftime break and performed admirably to find an equalizer and draw Africa’s top team in FIFA World Cup qualifying action on Tuesday. Abdoul Tapsoba scored his first international goal for the senior national team to cancel out Sofiane Feghouli’s opener for the Fennecs and keep Group A competitive. Algeria and Burkina Faso are now even with four points at the top of the group with Niger trailing on three points following the result.

Algeria did not have to worry about traveling to Burkina Faso for the road match because of an inadequate hosting situation in the country that resulted in the game being moved to a neutral location in Morocco. The Fennecs took full advantage and imposed themselves in the first half with a surplus of creativity in the attack. Manchester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez caused trouble for the Burkinabé with his services, nearly sneaking a cross inside the far post from the right wing that went just wide on ten minutes.

The “hosts” would not have been in the match if it was not for goalkeeper Hervé Koffi. The Charleroi backstop came up big time and time again throughout the first half to deny excellent opportunities for Ramy Bensebaini as well as Algeria striker Islam Slimani. However, the visitors did find their opener in the 18th minute when Youcef Belaïli carried the ball forward and picked out Slimani with an excellent ball on the left wing. Slimani found a wide open Feghouli in the middle to apply a finish with Koffi having no chance this time.

With only one shot on goal in the first half for Burkina Faso, it was hard to see them getting back into the match but Les Étalons came out a new team. Becoming bolder in their attacks and pushing more numbers forward, the Algerians were surprisingly put on the back foot for extended stretches and the deserved reward came for the Stallions in the 64th minute. Koffi launched a precise long ball to the left flank that eventually found Lassina Traoré, who held off a couple of defenders before placing an excellent cross at Tapsoba’s feet. The Standard Liège youngster collected from close range and finished past Raïs M’Bolhi to level the match.

Burkina Faso nearly snatched the lead late on when substitute Mohamed Konate fired just wide of the Algerian goal from outside the penalty area in the 86th minute, but the team was ecstatic to claim a point off Algeria and will take confidence from the result going forward. Video of the goals are below.

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