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AFCON U-17: Burkina Faso defeat neighbors Mali to claim third place

Burkina Faso held off a late charge from Mali on Thursday to secure a 2-1 victory and third place at the 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Algeria. Ousmane Camara converted a first half penalty kick and did brilliantly to set up the second goal for Burkina Faso early in the second half, giving the nation a second third place finish in its history at the competition. Mamadou Doumbia scored the only goal for Mali close to the hour mark but Les Aiglonnets could not find an equalizer in the final thirty minutes.

There was only pride to play for on Thursday with both teams already having secured tickets to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year. Burkina Faso threatened to score first in the 11th minute when a low cross from the left wing went past four players before Camara fired over from ten yards out. Ten minutes later the Burkinabé team opened the scoring from the penalty spot through Camara after Appolinaire Bougma was taken down by a clumsy challenge from Mali defender Souleymane Sanogo.

It was an even match throughout and Mali were eager to dominate possession and push forward. Burkinabé midfielder Arouna Ouattara did brilliantly to clear off the goal line in the 30th minute before Mali striker Doumbia failed to convert a couple of good opportunities including just before halftime when the AS Black Stars player failed to direct his header on target with Burkina Faso goalkeeper Isidore Traoré out of position.

Right after halftime the Stallions doubled their lead through Bougma who was left with an easy finish after Camara’s brilliant run and cross from the right flank. Burkinabé keeper Traoré was forced off due to injury and his replacement, Mohamed Compaoré, had no chance on Mali’s first goal in the 58th minute after Doumbia received a pass from Ibrahim Diarra and maneuvered around Compaoré for an easy finish into the empty net. Despite pushing numbers forward the Malians could not find a breakthrough and were forced to settle for fourth place.

Highlights from the third place match are below.

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