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2023 AFCON U-20 Qualifying: Burkina Faso eliminates Ghana with win to advance to WAFU-B semifinals

Abdel Rachid Zagre scored in the final seconds of second half stoppage time to give Burkina Faso a 2-1 victory over Ghana in the final match of the group stage at the WAFU-Zone B qualifying competition for the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. Burkina Faso maintain their second place position in Group B to advance alongside Nigeria to the semifinals of the competition, where they will play Benin with a spot in the U-20 AFCON on the line. Defending U-20 AFCON champions Ghana are eliminated following the result.

There were bright moments in the first half for Ghana’s Black Satellites but the finishing was not there as the Burkinabé side held strong until they gathered momentum. Ghana had their first good look in the 16th minute when Bechem United’s Emmanuel Annor collected a pass from the left wing and had an open shot on goal, but Burkina Faso goalkeeper Philippe Mare fought off the effort as it came right at him. Collins Boah had a free kick attempt in the 26th minute that curled just over the bar to complete a promising opening half hour for the Black Satellites.

However, Burkina Faso began to get it going and an outstanding individual effort led to the opening goal for them in the 33rd minute. Yacouba Konaté produced a dazzling dribbling run on the left wing and left two Ghanaian defenders in his wake before cutting back across form the end line to find Moussa Ky, who finished with a diving header for a wonderful goal. Just before halftime the Ghanaian side fought back when a quick throw in caught the Burkinabé defense off guard and led to an open shot for Alex Sarfo, whose effort just snuck by Mare.

The second half featured few clear opportunities for either side and the Burkinabé defense stayed secure despite Ghana’s attempts to push knowing they needed a win to advance. Boah came close from distance in the 68th minute with a swerving shot from 25 yards out that went just wide of the goal. In the end though it was the Burkinabé team who got the full three points when captain and forward Zagre collected a pass and curled his shot inside the near post from fifteen yards.

Highlights of the match are below.

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