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Burkina Faso holds off Ethiopia for draw and second place in Group A

Ethiopia made a courageous effort to come back and get the win they needed, but ultimately a 1-1 draw was not enough for the Walias against Burkina Faso on Monday at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Cyrille Bayala opened the scoring for Burkina Faso in the first half before a Getaneh Kebede penalty kick conversion gave Ethiopia hope of getting the win they needed. Following the result, Burkina Faso clinch qualification for the knockout stages while Ethiopia are eliminated.

There were reasons for the Burkinabe support to be concerned following news that starting goalkeeper Hervé Koffi tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of Monday’s crucial match. Fortunately for Les Étalons, 25-year-old backup Farid Ouédraogo capably stepped in and the USFA shot stopper was tested early. The 10th minute saw Ouédraogo come up with a save from a Kebede shot that arrived from outside the penalty area.

Ethiopia’s promising start was nearly undone a minute later when a cross was poorly cleared right to Burkina Faso’s Bayala, who had a gaping goal to shoot at but miskicked a weak effort right to Walias keeper Teklemariam Shanko. However, Shanko’s positioning contributed to Bayala’s opener in the 24th minute when an excellent lofted ball from Adama Guira found the AC Ajaccio forward behind the Ethiopian defense. Shanko closed out too far and Bayala was able to loop an easy finish over the keeper to put the Stallions up.

Ouédraogo was called into action with an excellent kick save ten minutes before halftime when Ethiopia’s Dawa Hotessa did well to sneak around a Burkinabe defender before cutting back to Kebede at the edge of the six-yard box. Soon after the halftime break the leveler arrived for the Walias when a ball from out wide was handled in the penalty box by Burkinabe defender Steeve Yago as he contested with Kebede. Ethiopia’s all-time leading scorer sent a perfect low penalty beyond Ouédraogo to equalize and up the suspense in the match.

In the end, Ethiopia did not have enough in the attack to threaten a robust Burkina Faso defense, and Les Étalons were able to hold off without too much trouble. Burkina Faso is set to face the runner-up from Group C in their Round of 16 clash, which is likely to be Gabon unless they can defeat Morocco. Highlights are below.

24′- Bayala puts Les Étalons in the lead

52′- Kebede levels from the penalty spot for Ethiopia


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