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Burkina Faso off to winning start in AFCON qualifying following shutout of Cape Verde

Les Étalons of Burkina Faso took three points from their opening 2023 AFCON qualifying match, winning 2-0 against Cape Verde in Morocco to move atop Group B after the opening set of fixtures on Friday. Hassane Bandé opened the scoring close to the hour mark and Dango Ouattara finished the Blue Sharks off shortly before full time for victory against a tricky opponent. The Stallions will travel to South Africa for their second match against Eswatini while Cape Verde will stay in Morocco to host Togo.

It took a while for both teams to get going in an even matchup but Burkina Faso looked the more likely team to score. Gustavo Sangaré had Burkina Faso’s first look when he was set up for an open shot from ten yards out but his effort struck a teammate in front of the goal who was in an offside position. Ouattara fired over over the Cape Verde goal in the 28th minute and neither team was too threatening by the time halftime arrived.

The Stallions stepped up their efforts after the break and took the lead in the 58th minute. Ouattara had room on the right flank and sent an inswinging cross to find Bandé, who rose highest to head into goal with Cape Verde goalkeeper Sixten Mohlin out of position. Mohlin did better five minutes later when Ouattara set up a shot from the edge of the area and the Blue Sharks keeper kept track of the ball to push wide.

Burkina Faso would put the match away late on and it was the influential Ouattara who clinched the three points. Attacking right back Issa Kaboré created space on the right flank and sent in a cross to find the 20-year-old Lorient forward for a powerful near post header that Mohlin failed to keep out.

Highlights from Marrakech are below.

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