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AFCON 2023: Traoré penalty saves Burkina Faso from scoreless draw

For ninety minutes, good goalkeeping and ineffective attacking was the story but a penalty kick from Bertrand Traoré in stoppage time gave Burkina Faso all three points in a 1-0 Group C victory over Mauritania to begin Tuesday’s action from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Traoré converted from the spot following a foul on Issa Kaboré in the penalty area for a good ending to a generally poor performance from the favorites. Mauritania will continue their search for a first ever AFCON victory against Angola on Saturday while Burkina Faso clashes with group favorites Algeria.

A couple of notable injuries resulted in a weakened attack for Burkina Faso from the start and Mauritania took advantage by seizing the initiative in the first half. However a strong Burkinabé defense kept The Stallions level in front of goalkeeper Hervé Koffi, who did brilliantly to push over a free kick from Mauritania attacker Aboubakary Koita in the 31st minute.

The attack from Burkina Faso, lacking the presence of star and captain Bertrand Traoré in the initial eleven, was ineffective and limited to poor long range attempts from Stephane Aziz Ki. The second half produced more football that was drab and uninspiring but Koffi continued the frustration for the Mauritanian attack with a brilliant diving save from a shot attempt by substitute Bouna Sidi Amar in the 82nd minute.

Traoré came on as a substitute for the final thirty minutes and he provided the match winning moment in added time. The Aston Villa playmaker lofted a pass to find the run of Kaboré and the Luton Town right back was scythed down by a sliding challenge from Nouh Mohamed El Abd. A Video Assistant Referee review determined that a foul was committed in the box and Traoré stepped up to send Mauritania goalkeeper Babacar Niasse the wrong way for the crucial winner.

Highlights from the Group C clash are below.

90+6′- Bertrand Traoré fires in the winning goal from the spot following foul in the Mauritanian penalty area

Match Highlights

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