Burkina Forces A Draw Vs. Morocco
A last gasp goal earned Burkina Faso a 1-1 draw with Morocco in their African Nations Championship group B game played at Athlone Stadium on Thursday night.
The north African side would have been bitterly disappointed with the result, having had numerous chances to put the game to bed before the Stallions' late smash and grab kept them in the tournament.
It was a more clinical, determined and aggressive Morocco side that started the game, the north Africans coming out of the blocks looking like a team intent on taking the game to their opponents.
It was thus no surprise when Morocco forged ahead after just two minutes, with Abdelkbir El Ouadi taking the ball down the left wing after a lovely build up before delivering a back post cross where Ibrahim El Bahri was on hand to volley home.
The Moroccans continued to dominate and had another chance through El Bahri, but this time Burkina Faso keeper Mohamed Kabore made a good save nine minutes later.
As the game approached the half-hour mark El Bahri should have made it 2-0, but having beaten his man before cutting into the box, he slid a left-footed effort just wide of the far post with plenty to aim at.
Burkina Faso finally made forays into their opposition's half, earning a succession of corners and getting some decent balls in to the box.
Their front men, however, lacked cohesion and understanding among each other as chances were squandered again and again.
Kabore had a scare on 40 minutes when he dropped a routine cross, with the big keeper relieved to see teammate Aboubacar Traore clearing the ball off the line behind him.
At the other end, Burkina's defence seemed non-existent at times and El Ouadi was guilty of missing a fantastic chance for Morocco after running unopposed through the centre of the defence before pulling a weak right-footed shot horribly wide with only the keeper to beat.
A minute after the restart the Stallions had a perfect opportunity to get back in the game when Bassirou Quedraogo sprinted free down the left wing.
His attempted finish at the near post was weak and Morocco keeper Nadir Lamyaghri made a fairly comfortable save.
There was another great chance for the north Africans on 56 minutes but El Ouadi's finishing again let them down as he missed the target.
To Burkinabé's credit, they looked far more threatening when going forward in the second half and had their fair share of play, although the end product left a lot to be desired.
However, Morocco always looked good for another goal and with 20 minutes to go Abdessamad Rafik should have given the Atlas Lions some breathing space, but from an unmarked position just 12-yards out, his wild header cleared the crossbar by some margin.
Burkina Faso defender M'bah Kone appeared fortunate not to concede an 85th minute penalty after he seemed to have fouled Mohsime Moutaouali in the box.
With the game just about to move into injury time, Ouedraogo pounced from close range to net the equaliser after Morocco had conceded possession 25-yards out from their own goal.
This led to Aliassou Sanou setting up Ouedraogo for a simple goal.