Match report: Ghana beaten by Burkina Faso on penalties in Africa Cup of Nations
Posted: 6 February 2013 Time: 23:16
In a match marred by poor refereeing it was poetic justice for Burkino Faso, as they beat the Black Stars of Ghana on penalties in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final.
Burkina Faso made three changes to their starting line-up from the match against Togo, with captain Moumouni Dagano, Issouf Ouattara and Wilfried Sanou dropping to the bench and striker Aristide Bance – who had a stormer of a match – and midfielders Florent Rouamba and Prejuce Nakoulma taking their place.
For Ghana, midfielder Mubarak Wakaso was awarded a start following a good performance against Cape Verde in the quarter-finals.
Penalty shout for Burkina Faso
Shortly after the start Burkina Faso had a penalty shout when Jonathan Pitroipa was pushed over in the area by his Rennes clubmate John Boye, but the referee was not interested.
John Pantsil pulled up mid-stride with what looked like a hamstring injury shortly afterwards, and was replaced by Solomon Asante on 10 minutes.
Ghana take the lead
13 minutes in Ghana took the lead through a penalty, after an innocuous-looking challenge from Mady Panandetiguiri on Christian Atsu. Wakaso converted to give the Black Stars the lead, although the crowd where insistent that Pitroipa’s shout was stronger.
Pitroipa continued to look dangerous for Burkina Faso, almost creating a chance every time he was on the ball, while Wakaso had another chance for Ghana, trying a shot from range that was kept out by the good judgement of Daouda Diakite.
Nakoulma had the best chance of the half for the Burkinabe, hitting wide when he should have forced a save from Ghana keeper Fatau Dauda.
Asante then should have made it 2-0 just before half-time, after some great work by Kwadwo Asamoah on the left, but the Berekum Chelsea man hit over the bar from 10 metres out.
Just after half-time Bance came close with a header, which was palmed away by Dauda, and Asamoah Gyan hit the woodwork with a toe-poke in the area a few minutes later.
Burkino Faso equalise
But Burkino Faso got the equaliser shortly after, taking advantage of a rare chance, with Bance keeping his cool to hit home from 40 metres out.
Shortly after that Bance was in the thick of things once again, sending a free-kick narrowly wide.
Gyan kicked in the groin
Bizarre scenes followed when Gyan sent a header over the bar, and then fell to the ground and was kicked in the groin by Paul Koulibaly, who was lucky to get away with a yellow.
Diakite made a great save as extra time approached, after Atsu ran through and fired a low shot at the keeper, who did well to stop the ball at his left-hand post.
It was Bance who had the first chance in extra time, but after beating two Ghana defenders he sent his shot over the bar.
Burkino Faso goal disallowed
Burkina Faso had a goal disallowed just before half-time of extra time, when Nakoulma tussled with Asamoah before poking the ball past Dauda, but referee Slim Jdidi blew for an infringement and the goal did not stand, much to the consternation of the Burkinabe and their fans, and adopted fans.
Ghana had to thank their lucky stars soon after, when Bance came close twice in succession. First, his shot was sent out for a corner by Dauda. From the set piece his amazing half-volley was incredibly blocked on the line by Harrison Afful.
Pitroipa sent off for Burkina Faso – penalty denied
Pitroipa was then dismissed after a very dubious decision by the referee. The Burkino Faso livewire looked to be fouled in the area for a sure penalty, but the referee adjudged it a dive, and showed Pitroipa a second yellow. He will miss the final.
Ghana then almost gave Ghana the win when his header flashed wide of the post, but the whistle blew shortly after and penalties it was, with the Black Stars to shoot first.
Penalty shoot-out: Isaac Vorsah (missed), Bakary Kone (scored); Christian Atsu (scored), Henri Traore (scored); Harrison Afful (scored), Paul Koulibaly (saved); Emmanuel Clottey (missed), Aristide Bance (scored); Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (saved)