Stallions leap to top of Group C
Moment of the match: Both Alain Traore’s strikes in the match were simply world class.
Eish!: A streaker entered the field and exposed the lax security measures at this tournament. It’s the third incident of a fan entering the field without being spotted.
Player to watch: The Burkinabe talisman Traore. The West Africans are a confident lot when their star is on the field. He carries the team’s knockout stage chances.
Alain Traore netted a brace that sent Burkina Faso to the top of Group C, thrashing Ethiopia 4-0, in their Group C 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tie at Mbombela Stadium.
The silky midfielder netted in the 34th and 74th minute respectively, before Djakaridja Kone and Omod Okury completed the rampant victory in the 79th and 90th minute tonight.
The unfancied Burkinabe – who had been reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama was red-carded for dissent on the hour mark – are now on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.
A draw against beleaguered Zambia on Tuesday may be enough for The Stallions, which, in the process, could also eliminate the current African champions in the first round.
Chipolopolo and Nigeria both carry two points, having played a 1-1 draw in the earlier match at the same venue.
All four sides still have a chance of progressing to the quarterfinals – even Ethiopia with one point garnered.
However, the exciting East Africans will need to improve on their defence when they meet the determined Super Eagles on Tuesday.
Buoyed by the colourful support in the stands and their pacy attack, the Ethiopians were superb in the first half where they created a host of chances before the brute power of Burkina Faso took over in the second half.
The Walias were the first off the block with their slick passing game as Godo Bekele saw his shot inside the area come off the woodwork after seven minutes while Saladin Said’s effort soon after went narrowly wide of goal.
Traore then fired a shot for Burkina Faso at the opposite end that was well stopped by Derese Zerihun before the West Africans probed again with Aristide Bance drawing a save from the keeper.
Their persistence was rewarded with a Traore volley giving them a 1-0 lead heading to the break.
The French-based player found his second goal with a stunning long-range effort midway through the second half as the normally tenacious Ethiopians fell like a pack of cards towards the end.