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World Cup Qualifying - Africa
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São Tomé e Príncipe
WC Qualification Africa
October 12, 2013
• Stade du 4 Août, Ouagadougou
Referee: J. Sikazwe
• Attendance: 31000
J. Pitroipa 45'+
D. Koné 65'
A. Bancé 86'
S. Feghouli 50'
C. Medjani 69'
That's my cue folks, it's been a pleasure. Bye for now.
An enthralling and controversial game, that Algeria will be questioning how exactly they ended up on the losing side. The visitors showed far more quality in attack, but a lack of ruthlessness and some shoddy refereeing, including two debatable penalties, has seen Burkina Faso take a tenuous lead into the second leg. It's all set up nicely for the return!
90' + 8'
Bance instead plays it low into the area, its cleared by Algeria but there's not enough time to get back down the pitch! The referee blows the final whistle!
90' + 7'
Burkina Faso win a much needed free kick near the corner of the box. A good position to whip one in, but the smart move might be to milk the clock even more.
90' + 5'
It's cleared easily, and Burkina Faso break! Traore, the substitute, one of the few players with a full tank, goes springing down the left flank, and drills in a great low cross that Pitroipa comes within inches of converting!
90' + 4'
Free kick for Algeria, near the halfway line, and everyone is packed into the Burkina Faso box for this. Chance to trouble Diakite again...
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Burkina Faso milking the clock for every second's worth, as Algeria just cannot compose themselves on the ball. Feghouli looks set to depart as the visitors make one final shuffle.
Algeria are still too hot and bothered to get the ball upfield and try to wrest themselves back into this game. Meanwhile, seven minutes of injury time have been signaled from the fourth official.
Finally, we are back in action. We're set for a monumental period of injury time, that much can be said.
More complaints, quarrels and arguments break out between the players on the pitch, the players on the bench and the officials.
Bance with some needless gamesmanship, sliding right in front of M'Bolhi in celebration, who looks ready to knock his block off. The referee really needs to get a grip on this game!
Penalty Goal Aristide Bancé
HE SCORES THIS TIME! Again, not a perfect penalty, but he puts enough power on it to beat M'Bolhi!
Algeria remonstrate furiously with the officials, and they have every right to be furious. Another questionable penalty call has gone against them, and Bance steps up once again after missing the first...
CONTROVERSY! Burkina Faso are awarded a penalty for handball, a dreadful decision given that Belkalem made every effort to get his hands out of the way, keeping them as far behind his back as he could! The ball struck him near the elbow, and the referee seemed to allow play to continue, but the assistant on the goalline was adamant that there was an infraction!
We're back in action folks, with Burkina Faso on the ball. Pitroipa, who has been rather quiet in the second half, tries to run at goal, but he is blocked off by Medjani.
Another break in play as the players take advantage once again to get a drink of water on the sidelines. A common sense decision by the referee there to give everyone a bit of a refresher.
The temperature on the pitch has cooled considerably, and the play has responded accordingly. An excellent, open finish to this game! Both sides have another goal in them.
GUEDIOURA! The substitute takes aim from 20 yards out, and it's not far away, less than a foot over the post! I doubt Diakite would have got to that one had it been on target.
Algeria have wisely backed off a bit since equalizing. It's a tricky spot for Burkina Faso to be in, do they hold onto this score and try to get something in the return leg, or do they go for the lead and risk their shaky defence (and keeper) against this dangerous Algeria side?
Yellow Card Adlène Guedioura
It's all to play for now. Both sides have the wind in their sails! Algeria though have two precious away goals to take into the second leg.
Goal Carl Medjani
A free header for Medjani from a corner, which he duly bounces into the back of the net! Controversy in the eyes of Burkina Faso though, as Lingani was substituted, and the replacement was not yet on the pitch before the referee allowed the corner to be taken! Perhaps he was the man that should have marked Medjani!
THAT"S HOW THEY RESPOND! MEDJANI TIES IT UP!
Well, how do Algeria respond? Burkina Faso were going absolutely nowhere, but now find themselves back in the lead. The visitors now need to put something concrete in front of all their positive play.
Goal D. Koné
Out of nowhere, Burkina Faso go back on top! A lovely goal from Kone, who dribbles right past his man and drives a finish across M'Bolhi into the bottom corner! Only his second international goal!
Taider giving away a tactical free kick, sliding into Nakoulma and preventing him from having a clean run at the back four. Nothing comes of the set piece though.
Algeria still completely in control, but they've taken the foot off the gas pedal in the last few minutes, happy to let the hosts chase the game.
Diakite is putting on a comedy show in goal. Feghouli breaks into the area plays the ball in, which strikes the clueless goalkeeper right on his chest!
Burkina Faso try to climb out of their rut, but Nakoulma is caught easily offside on a long ball over the top.
Yet another in-game delay as Algeria have a player down. This pitch is really not doing anyone any favors.
Burkina Faso are absolutely rattled here! Algeria looking dangerous with every attack, and that young Stallions defence is really showing their inexperience. And they're not being given any veteran guidance by Diakite, a bundle of nerves in the home side's goal!
Diakite with a strong save, as Algeria were queuing up to slot home! Least he could do, really, as it was he who spilled the cross initially.
Algeria nearly scores again! Yebda with a nifty ball over the top, Soudani has the step on the last defender, but pokes his finish right at Diakite! Lingani was caught out there!
Goal Sofiane Feghouli
A deft piece of footwork from Algeria's best attacker on the night opens up the space for a shot from 18 yards, which he places to perfection! Diakite was completely wrong footed by that move, and stood rooted to the spot!
NO THEY CAN'T FEGHOULI TIES IT UP!
Burkina Faso a little slow to settle at the start of this half. Same story as the first, really, but they were able to recover admirably then, can they do it now?
Yago is down injured as a result of that challenge, and the game is paused while the substitute receives some treatment.
Diakite with a clumsy attempt at a punch, barreling over and Algeria attacker and one of his own defenders in his fight for the ball. He just about manages to get it clear, but it was hardly the most confident display of goalkeeping!
Here we go again!
Burkina Faso make the most of their strong finish to the half, with the irrepressible Pitroipa giving them the lead, minutes after winning his side a penalty that Bance saw saved. Algeria started well, but faded badly as the half wore on. It's still finely poised though, roll on second half!
45' + 3'
And that's the last action of the half, what a breathless finish!
45' + 2'
Goal Jonathan Pitroipa
RIGHT ON THE STROKE OF HALF TIME, the most impressive player on the pitch gives the hosts the lead. Lingani whips in a dangerous deep cross from the left, and Pitroipa ghosts in ahead of the flapping M'Bolhi, who is left in a heap as he heads home!
45' + 2'
45' + 1'
Into the first of two added minutes.
Can someone tell me the point of these goal-line officials again? M'Bolhi clearly moved at least a foot or two off his line to save that penalty, the official was barely 10 yards away, perfectly positioned to call the infraction, but did nothing!
SAVED BY M'BOLHI! A very weak penalty from Bance, not struck with a lot of pace at all. The keeper guessed right, and pushes it away, even though he clearly moved off his line to make the stop!
Rash decision from Belkalem, who sees Pitroipa running at pace and goes in full blooded with a sliding challenge. Pitroipa sees the challenge coming all the way, and plays right into the contact, going tumbling.
PITROIPA WINS A PENALTY!
Feghouli goes rolling over in the box under pressure from Lingani, but there was no infraction from the Burkina Faso defender. The referee tells the Valencia man to get to his feet, and is met by a rather petulant reaction. Given the theatrics of Feghouli, if a penalty was not awarded, surely a yellow card for diving?
It's been a fairly open game this, but both sides are suffering from a lack of quality in their final ball. Slimani in particular has gotten himself into some tasty positions, but his teammates have not often found him.
Play is resumed, and Algeria try to catch the hosts napping with a long ball over the top for Slimani, but the strapping Koulibaly is right on it once again.
Delay in the game as Yebda needs a bit of treatment after taking a knock. The players take that opportunity to grab some hydration from the sidelines.
The shadow of the stands just starting to inch across the pitch here. Should be a welcome relief for the players, who have been otherwise sweltering in this 35 degree Celsius sunshine.
Pitroipa really growing in confidence with every step, this time taking matters into his own hands, running right at the defence, but it ends up being a wild shot that's deflected harmlessly. Still, encouraging signs from the former Hamburg man!
Pitroipa advances well down the middle and slingshots it wide to Nakoulma, but the ball keeps sliding forward on this rock hard pitch, and the winger is forced to rush a cross right into the first defender.
Burkina Faso starting to strut their stuff now. They've wisely stopped the hit-and-hope game down the centre, and are spreading the ball nicely, making use of this expansive pitch.
Yellow Card Mohamed Koffi
Koffi, the Burkina Faso defender, becomes our first booking of the game.
Tickets at a premium it seems, but that's not stopping these fans! Some supporters have climbed the floodlight structure to get a better view of the game! Hard to blame them, when this stadium was completely full two hours before kickoff.
Koulibaly does exceptionally well to shepherd the ball out of play under great pressure from Slimani. Drafted in as a makeshift centre back after Kone's injury, but he's acquitted himself well already.
Burkina Faso earn a rare respite to end a concerted spell of Algeria dominance. They win a corner, but cannot beat the first man, and soon cough the ball back up to the visitors.
Algeria ramping up the pressure now. Everything is aimed towards Slimani, who is making himself a real target in the box. It's been a tough year for Slimani, who joined Sporting CP in August, his first experience playing club football outside Algeria. He's yet to score a league goal for the Portuguese club.
The corner comes in from Algeria, and Slimani gets his head to Feghouli's delivery, but plants it over the bar!
ALMOST! Algeria win another quick free kick, Feghouli whips it in, it's not cleared, and Slimani attacks the rebound at the far post, but it's just about deflected out for a corner!
It's a really well-flighted ball from the Valencia midfielder, aimed at the far post, but Burkina Faso just manage to get it clear!
Now Algeria have a free kick opportunity of their own. Not as direct at the hosts' a minute ago, too far out to have a shot, but Feghouli stands over this, and has bodies to pick out in the box...
It's teed up for Bance, who hammers it over the bar. Some interesting hairstyles on display from Burkina Faso, but Bance's has to take the cake. Looks like a side of fries on the top of his head.
Dangerous free kick for Burkina Faso, as Yeba trips Nakoulma right on the edge of the box. The home fans are buzzing here in anticipation...
The Stallions really need to tighten up on their right flank. Taider follows the example of Soudani and gets another ball in from that side, but it's just over the head of Slimani at the far post.
Algeria definitely the faster side out of the traps here. Soudani in particular is looking menacing on the left, and is getting himself into some good crossing positions.
After a slight delay, on comes the 20-year old Steeve Yago for Kone.
Kone is down again, shaking his head. He was patched up on the sidelines and tried to soldier on, but it looks to be the end of his game. He trudges off and takes a seat on the bench.
Slimani prevented from getting a header in at the back post after some good work from Soudani on the right side!
Bad news for Burkina Faso, as experienced defender Bakary Kone has pulled up, and there are fears that he might not be able to continue. The hosts are doubtless hoping that he shakes this one off.
A sweltering 35 degrees Celsius here in Ouagadougou, and the pitch at the Stade du 4-Aout looks as hard as a rock. Tricky conditions for both teams to navigate, and it will be interesting to see who settles first.
Here we go! Burkina Faso get us underway!
The sides are out on the pitch, as the national anthems ring through the stadium. We're nearly ready to get underway, folks.
ALGERIA: M'Bolhi, Mostefa, Belkalem, Bougherra, Mesbah, Medjani, Taider, Yebda, Feghouli, Soudani, Slimani.
BURKINA FASO: Diakite, Koffi, Koulibaly, B. Kone, Panandetiguiri, D. Kone, Kabore, Pitroipa, W. Sanou, Ouattara, Dagano.
Our teams have been confirmed.
And in the blue corner sit Algeria, looking for their second straight berth at a World Cup Finals. What promised so much after a pulsating victory over Egypt in the playoffs ended up in tears as the desert Foxes flopped in South Africa 2010. But coach Vahid Halilhodzic has got the Algerian machine ticking again, and after topping their qualification group with relative ease, tonight's favorites are one step away.
In the red corner, we have Burkina Faso, a team on the rise since reaching the final of the 2013 African Cup of Nations. Though they lost out that day to Nigeria, the Stallions have been riding that momentum all year long, and shook off a poor start to qualifying to top their group. It's all adrenaline at this point for Burkina Faso, who were favored by no-one, surprised everyone, and now, have only one more hurdle to pass.
The African hopefuls are now only two games away from Brazil. Negotiate this two-legged playoff, and a berth at the 2014 World Cup will be theirs.
Greetings everyone, and welcome to the CAF World Cup Qualifying third round first-leg match between Burkina Faso and Algeria. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your designated scribe for this evening's action.
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