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AFCON U-17: Burkina Faso shock Nigeria to reach semifinals and qualify for fifth U-17 World Cup

Aboubacar Sidiki Camara scored both goals for Burkina Faso as the young Stallions dumped Nigeria out of the 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations with a 2-1 quarterfinal victory in Algiers on Thursday evening. Camara scored once in each half before the Burkinabé team held off a second half charge from Nigeria to secure their fifth appearance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year. Burkina Faso will face Senegal in the semifinals on Sunday for a place in the final.

For five-time FIFA U-17 World Cup champions Nigeria the defeat was a heartbreaking one. The Golden Eaglets dominated possession and looked more dangerous but were vulnerable to the counter attack throughout the match, something Burkina Faso took advantage of. After Nigeria controlled the early stages, the Burkinabé hit their opponents with a punch just before halftime when Appolinaire Bougma’s shot from the right wing was spilled by Nigeria goalkeeper Richard Odoh and Camara pounced to poke in the rebound after Tochukwu Ogboji missed his clearance attempt.

Nigeria were caught out on the counter for Burkina Faso’s second goal in the 56th minute. Influential forward Souleymane Alio brilliantly turned past Israel Usulor on the left wing and drove into the Nigerian penalty area where he was bundled over by Ogboji for the referee to point to the penalty spot. Camara placed his spot kick perfectly just beyond Odoh to double the Burkinabé lead.

The Golden Eaglets made a late charge and it was nervous times for the Burkinabé team after Abubakar Abdullahi turned in a cross to cut the deficit in half in the 67th minute. Despite some close calls for the Stallions they held off the late charge from Nigeria and the full time whistle brought joyous celebrations for the victors who return to the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time since 2011.

Highlights from the match are below.

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