AFCON 2017: Burkina Faso claims third place as Ghanaian misery endures
It's time to celebrate Egypt fans.
Egypt qualified to the final after it defeated Burkina Faso on Wednesday 4-3 in the penalty shootout, with Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary being named the man of the match.
"Since the pre-tournament preparations, we are determined to compete and win the title", the 44-year-old said.
Now face to face with the most decorated African national team, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon need no one to remind them that they have a big mountain they must climb, if they are to win their fifth AFCON title.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw after Mohamed Salah handed Egypt a 66th-minute lead but Burkina pulled level seven minutes later through Aristide Bance.
Unfancied Cameroon were beset by selection problems before the tournament following the withdrawal of key players including Joel Matip, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Allan Nyom, but have defied expectations to reach their first final since 2008 after beating Ghana 2-0 in their semi-final on Thursday. "They wasted so many chances", Egypt's Argentinian coach Hector Cuper said. "We were very exhausted and our wish was to go to penalties because then anything can happen".
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"So we have put the lost behind us and we are concentrating on the third place game against Burkina". They have been very clinical: when they did venture forward against Uganda, Morocco and Burkina Faso, they scored.
After the break, Burkina Faso continued with their dominance, winning a couple of free-kicks in better positions but were wasteful.
That goal was the first conceded by El Hadary in 653 minutes at the Cup of Nations since 2010. They were even better in the second half with aggressive attacking.
The match looked to be heading for a period of extra time, only for the Kayserispor striker to pop up a minute from time to seal victory for the Stallions at the Stade de Port-Gentil in Gabon.
Ofori, the lone Ghana-based player in the squad and getting a first start of the tournament, rescued his team several times before Traore struck.
Steeve Yago's backheel found Charles Kabore and the captain's flighted ball was controlled and smashed home from close range in one lighting-fast action by Bance, ending El Hadary's remarkable record of invincibility at the tournament at just short of 11 hours.
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Jan 31 2017