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Late penalty seals Burkina Faso win over Mauritania

BERTRAND Traore scored a stoppage time penalty as Burkina Faso claimed a 1-0 victory over Mauritania in their Africa Cup of Nations Group D clash at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake on Tuesday, writing a piece of history in the process.

It is the first ever win for the Burkinabe in their opening match of the African showpiece finals and came at the 13th attempt, handed to them when Aston Villa midfielder Traore stroked home his spot-kick after a foul by Mauritania captain Mohamed El Abd on Issa Kabore.

Burkina Faso dominated possession, but it was Mauritania who carved out the better chances, though they were denied by the excellent reflexes of goalkeeper Herve Koffi and will feel aggrieved not to have got something from the game having conceded in the 96th minute.

Burkina Faso head the pool with their three points after the first round of matches. Fancied Algeria were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by Angola on Monday.

Mauritania fought bravely but could have no complaints over the spot-kick as El Abd lunged at Kabore from behind.

Moroccan referee Jalal Jayed did not give the foul initially, but after a Video Assistant Referee intervention, the correct call was made.

Burkina Faso have now scored in each of their last 15 Cup of Nations matches, the longest active streak and second lengthiest in the history of the tournament after Egypt found the net in 27 consecutive matches between 1957 and 1980.

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Burkinabe keeper Koffi had earlier made a superb save from an Idrissa Thiam’s free-kick, while Hemeya Tanji also tested him with a rocket of a volley that was too close to the gloveman.

Mauritania lost former Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara to injury midway through the first half after he landed awkwardly while jumping for the ball.

But they continued to create the better chances and Koffi made another superb save as he turned Amar Sidi Bouna’s curling shot from the edge of the box wide of the post.

Mauritania have never led in any of their seven Cup of Nations games, and have not scored in almost 10 hours of football since a penalty by Hacen against Mali in their first ever Cup of Nations match in 2019.

By The African Mirror

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