Traore Breaks Nigeria's Hearts
Burkina Faso struck a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against Nigeria in their Group C Africa Cup of Nations clash at the Mbombela Stadium on Monday night.
Emmanuel Emenike opened the scoring midway through the first half but substitute Alain Traore netted the equaliser deep into injury time after the Nigerians had been reduced to ten men.
The Super Eagles should have taken the lead in the 12th minute as Ahmed Musa squared the ball to find Brown Ideye inside the penalty area but directed his shot over the bar from close range.
Three minutes later Emenike delivered a teasing cross from the right towards the far post but Ideye headed wide when he could’ve left the ball for Elderson Echiejile who was lurking behind him.
Then in the 17th minute Burkina Faso were almost gifted a goal as Joseph Yobo lost possession to Jonathan Pitroipa, but in the end Wilfried Dah could only fire against the side netting.
The deadlock was eventually broken six minutes later as Emenike sneaked ahead of two defenders to nudge the ball past the advancing goalkeeper following a neat flick from Ideye.
Burkina Faso threatened to equalise in the 32nd minute as a freekick was played into the box but Djakaridja Kone and Aristide Bance got in each other’s way as they looked to pull the trigger.
Then three minutes into the second half Moumoni Dagano should have leveled matters when he was picked out by a good cross from Jonathan Pitroipa, but he failed to connect with his head and the ball deflected off his shoulder.
The Burkina Faso striker did manage to hit the target in the 63rd minute, only to be denied by a decent save from Victor Enyeama, who went down quickly to tip his shot wide of the post.
Two minutes later substitute Ikechukwu Uche squandered a great chance to extend Nigeria’s lead as he sliced his shot wide after controlling the ball well inside the area.
Then in the 74th minute the Super Eagles were reduced to ten men as Efe Ambrose was given his marching orders following his second bookable offence.
Six minutes later Uche had yet another opportunity to secure maximum points with a second goal when he was put through by Mikel Obi, but this time he blasted his shot over the crossbar from close range.
Nigeria were punished in the dying moments of the match as Pitroipa cut the ball back for Alain Traore to side-foot home from the centre of the box to claim a valuable point for the Stallions.
Nigeria (1) 1 (Musa 23’)
Burkina Faso (0) 1 (A. Traore 90 + 4’)
Nigeria: Enyeama, Echiejile, Yobo, Oboabona, Ambrose, Ogude (Onazi 70’), Mikel, Igiebor, Emenike (Uche 58’), Ideye (Omeruo 78’), Musa
Burkina Faso: Soulama, Koffi, Kone, Koulibaly, Panandetiguiri, Kone, Pitroipa, Rouamba (Razack 82’), Dah (Sanou 46’), Bance (A. Traore 65’), Dagano