Burkina Faso have qualified to the knockout phase of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations despite the 1-1 draw against Ethiopia in the final Group A match played at the Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam on Monday.
The Stallions were looking for a win that would see them qualify automatically having collected 3 points in the recent victory over Cape Verde.
A draw was still good enough for as they were guaranteed to finish second depending on the results from the other game involving Cape Verde and Cameroon.
The Ibex had the first real opening of the match. Getaneh Kebede saw his attempt from inside the box is saved from Abubeker Nasir's square pass on the left flank.
Dawa Dukele had another chance for Ethiopia but his shot from outside the box was dealt with by Burkina Faso Keeper Soufiane Ouedraogo.
However, it was Burkina Faso who took the lead with Cyrille Bayala finding the back of the net after being out through on goal by Adama Guira. The Ajaccio Midfielder gave goalkeeper Balcha no chance with a well taken left footed shot and register his first goal of the tournament.
Burkina Faso went into the break with a goal to the good.
A huge team talk by Ethiopian Coach Abate Wubetu during the interval seemed to have worked as the Ibex came charging in the second half.
The pressure earned them a penalty after defender Steeve Yago handled in the box. Skipper of the side Getaneh Kebede slotted home the penalty to put Ethiopia back on level terms.
With that goal, Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo was keeping keen eye on the other Group A match between Cameroon and Cape Verde.
Both sides had chances to score the winner late on in the game. but none could find the breakthrough.
The Stallions of Burkina Faso managed to go through as runners up in Group A on head to head rule ahead of Cape Verde whom they beat, with both teams having 4 points.
What they said
Amanuel Yohanes Gamo (Man of the Match)
“I am happy to get the man of the match award, but I am disappointed we did not qualify as a team to make our country proud. I wish the remaining teams all success, as we go home and hope to try again later.”
Wubetu Abate (Coach, Ethiopia)
“We had a draw, but we still feel disappointed we are going home. We have good young players, but we lacked experience. Our players are all local and we hope we have learnt a lot, considering the pedigree of our opponents. We need more experience and capacity of our players getting knowledge in other leagues. However, we go home proud that it was a very good learning curve for us.”
Kamou Malo (Coach, Burkina Faso)
“We are happy to qualify, but we have to change a lot because we missed many chances today. We have to draw our lessons from the group stage, and to look at our tactics as I know it will be different in our next matches. It was not an easy group, but I am glad we surmounted the challenges and now we can plan once again. We are ready to play any opponents in the next round.”