Burkina Faso’s qualification hopes suffer in draw with hosts

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Burkina Faso’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup hung by a thread after they could only draw 0-0 against hosts Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday. Burkina, who lost their opening Group A game 2-0 against Gabon, have one point from two matches while Equatorial Guinea have two following their 1-1 draw against Congo.

Gabon take on Congo in the group’s other game later on Wednesday (1900 GMT).

Burkina Faso failed to convert the game’s best chances, hitting the woodwork twice, while Equatorial Guinea relied on counter attacks. Burkina Faso went close in the 20th minute when Alain Traore’s whipped 30-metre free kick smashed Felipe Ovono’s right post.

Equatorial Guinea’s Diosdado Mbele was lucky to escape a straight red card in the 28th minute for a dangerous tackle on Jonathan Pitroipa, who was racing towards goal from the left flank. The competition hosts were once again saved by the woodwork in the 39th minute when Ovono deflected Traore’s volley from close range onto his post.

The Equatorial Guinea keeper was involved again five minutes from the interval, parrying away Bertrand Traore’s powerful long-range effort. Equatorial Guinea, however, looked dangerous on the break. Shortly after the hour, Kike’s fierce shot was blocked by Burkina keeper Moussa Germain Sanou. Kike, arguably Equatorial Guinea’s best player on the day, was substituted eight minutes from time.

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