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Africa Cup of Nations
January 29, 2013
• Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: N. Alioum
• Attendance: 8000
So, Group C is over with Zambia's failure to beat ten-man Ethiopia in their opening match proving costly. Burkina Faso have already surpassed expectations and will head into their quarter-final without top scorer Alain Traore, which could be a huge miss. I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for getting involved.
The Nigeria-Ethiopia game has ended 2-0 to the Super Eagles meaning Burkina Faso will top the group and face either Togo or Tunisia, who play tomorrow. Nigeria will face Ivory Coast in the final quarter-final.
The referee blows his whistle and Burkina Faso are through as probable group winners. Reigning champions Zambia, though, become the first holders since 1990 to fail to make it through the group stage.
90' + 2'
Abdou Razak Traoré
Pitroipa is taken off with Abdou Traore replacing him for the final moments.
CHANCE FOR ZAMBIA! Centre-half Sunzu finds himself in an attacking position but his volley on the turn flies harmlessly wide. Last chance surely gone for Zambia.
The ball bounces around on the edge of the Burkina Faso area but there is no one there to put it in. Into the final 30 seconds now...
Four minutes of added time here. Zambia need a goal to go through and knock Burkina Faso out. Bakary Kone has a lot of blood coming out of his nose, and they need his back on the pitch.
Diakite grabs another cross and this match, and tournament, are almost done for Zambia. Would take a big turnaround of fortunes for them to save themselves now.
Zambia still pushing forward but they cannot force it home. Crosses are being aimed at Mbesuma but they cannot find the big striker.
With Nigeria looking set to go 2-0, Zambia have a chance with a bit of pinball in the six-yard box, but they cannot force it home. Looking ominous for the reigning holders.
Bance with another header for Burkina Faso but it falls harmlessly wide. They would still top the group should it remain the same.
Burkina Faso pushing forward and Bance heads wide. Chisamba Lungu is off for Zambia, with Jonas Sakuwaha on in his place.
Mbesuma heads straight at Diakite, and with Nigeria taking the lead, Zambia must now score to go through. If they do, Burkina Faso will be out. Massive ten minutes to come.
Bance goes on a rare forray forward for Burkina Faso, and wins a corner from Musonda. Mweene collects the set-piece though.
Kalaba cuts inside on the edge of the box as Zambia search for that illusive goal, but his effort is wayward.
Burkina Faso goalkeeper Diakite is receiving treatment on the pitch. That isn't good news as he is second choice as it is, though he has returned to his feet now.
Zambia's corner count keeps creeping up but Diakite pushes the latest one away. Big 20 minutes coming up in this group.
Yellow Card M. Panandétiguiri
Saidou Panandetiguiri picks up a yellow card for Burkina Faso for a late challenge on the edge of the area. The resulting free-kick comes to nothing for Herve Renard's side.
Still 0-0 and both sides seem happy enough at the moment. Burkina Faso would top the group and avoid Ivory Coast as it stands.
Kalaba whips in a free kick but Bance is back from his attacking position to head behind for a corner. It's Kalaba again to curl it over but can't find anyone in an orange shirt.
Zambia putting balls into the box but no one on the end of it . If Nigeria don't score it may not matter, especially as the Super Eagles have picked up two further yellow cards since half-time.
Collins Mbesuma wins a corner for Zambia and he almost converts the set-piece as he heads over from the centre of the area. The big striker should have done better despite coming under some pressure from the defence.
Pitroipa tries to break through but he cannot control it and it bobbles out for a goal kick. Zambia don't look too concerned with things at the moment despite their precarious position.
Change for Zambia as Mukuka Mulenga replaces Isaac Chansa. Still no sign of Katongo with only one substitution remaining.
Mayuka breaks away down the left but his low cross is cut out by Bakary Kone and Burkina Faso clear.
Half-chance for Burkina Faso as a corner comes in from the left and Bakary Kone gets up above his marker but cannot force it towards goal.
No change in the cagey style of play on show from both sides. Burkina Faso by far the happier if it stays goalless, though Zambia could also go through with this result.
Wilfried Benjamin Balima
Burkina Faso make a change at half-time, with Wilfried Dah replacing Wilfried Balima.
Burkina Faso get the second half underway and win a free kick on the edge of the Zambia box. Bance hits it but the wall are in the way.
The players are back out on the field, and the second half is imminent!
The second half is almost underway, and I think it's fair to say that no one knows who is going to go through. @Palatabletimi believes that Burkina Faso, despite topping the group, are going to be heading home, saying, "I'll give it to Zambia and Nigeria..I have a feeling the team will win their respective match." What do you think as we approach the second 45 minutes?
So, with Nigeria-Ethiopia goalless at half-time, who do you think is going to advance from Group C? Let me know on Twitter @maston91 and I'll be back for the second half.
Zambia win a corner but nothing comes of it, and the referee blows for half-time. An excellent 45 minutes from Burkina Faso's point of view, though the loss of Traore to an early injury will worry them.
Mbola swings in another ball and Rainford Kalaba sneaks in at the back post as the Burkina Faso defence leave it for each other. The winger can only head it straight at Diakite from a tight angle, but he should have done slightly better.
Emmanuel Mbola swings in a decent ball from the left for Zambia, but Diakite is again confident in coming to collect the ball and another attack ends. All good for Burkina Faso as we approach half time.
Even if they make it through, Zambia don't look like a side who could challenge for the trophy this time around. They try some passing football but the move breaks down as they struggle to find that crucial opening goal.
Musonda is now lucky to stay on the pitch as he concedes a free-kick with a late challenge. You feel if he hadn't already been booked then he would have received a yellow card there.
Yellow Card Emmanuel Mayuka
Another yellow card for Zambia, and if it goes down to fair play and the holders miss out, Emmanuel Mayuka will have a lot to answer for. He is booked for simulation after a blatant dive on the edge of the box.
Burkina Faso only need a draw to go through, and they are playing that way. Mbesuma's chance apart, they have been strong defensively and Diakite has been assured under crosses.
A cross comes in from the left for Burkina Faso, but Pitroipa can't get it under control Zambia clear with ease.
Yellow Card Joseph Musonda
With the Nigeria-Ethiopia game still goalless, Zambia would currently be going through on fair play. Yellow cards could be crucial, and Musonda picks up Zambia's first as he catches Rouamba with a flailing arm.
The Group C leaders coming into this a little more and captain Charles Kabore has a half-chance, but his curling effort from the edge of the box flies over the bar.
Free-kick for Burkina Faso but Bance's low effort is straight at the wall and the opportunity is gone.
Without talisman Traore, Burkina Faso are struggling to get going. Mbesuma's chance has been the only one of note for either side so far.
Musonda has been lively since his introduction, and he puts in another cross from the right that evades everyone including the goalkeeper, but there is no one at the back post to convert the chance.
Good feet on the left for Jonathan Pitroipa on the left for Burkina Faso, but he cannot find Bance in the box with his cross.
BIG CHANCE FOR ZAMBIA! Collins Mbesuma has been recalled to the Zambia side and he should have put them ahead in this one as Musonda's square pass across the edge of the area finds him, but he hits it straight at goalkeeper Diakite who catches easily.
Joseph Musonda replaces Nkausu with the game yet to find a decent rhythm.
Players are going down left, right and centre here with Zambia's Davis Nkausu now down on the turf and looking dejected. The champions are planning a substitution for their right-sided player.
Bance is in the game quickly but he cannot latch onto Wilfried Balima's chipped through ball on the edge of the area.
The substitution has taken place, with Aristide Bance replacing Traore.
Traore has been placed onto a stretcher and will be substituted imminently. That could end his tournament.
The tournament's top scorer, Alain Traore, has gone down in a lot of pain with no players around him. With only eight minutes gone I doubt he will be able to continue much longer. Big blow for Burkina Faso.
Southampton's Emmanuel Mayuka attempts to hook in a low cross but Marseille's Bakary Kone clears before the ball dribbles out for a goal kick.
The pitch doesn't look the best for this match, with a lots of lumps and bumps across the whole surface. That may have played a part in Mweene's decision to parry Traore's effort rather than catch it.
Early chance for Burkina Faso as Traore curls in a free-kick which Mweene can only parry. Two oncoming strikers try to put in the rebound but it evades both of them.
Zambia get us underway. In 90 minutes at least one of these sides will be eliminated from Afcon 2013.
There is a good atmosphere in Nelspruit and the vuvuzelas are again out in full force. We are all ready for kick-off...
The big news from the teams is that Zambia captain Chris Katongo has been left on the bench. Whether that affects the holders in their quest to reach the quarter-finals remains to be seen.
The teams are out at the Mbombela Stadium at Nelspruit and the national anthems have just been completed. Kick-off is just three minutes away in this crucial encounter.
Zambia: Mweene, Nkausu, Sunzu, Himoonde, Mbola, Lungu, Chansa, Sinkala, Kalaba, Mbesuma, Mayuka
Burkina Faso: Diakite, Koffi, B.Kone, Koulibaly, Panandetiguiri, D.Kone, Kabore, Rouamba, Pitroipa, Traore, Balima.
The teams are in for both sides...
Burkina Faso are currently top of Group C, and know that a draw will see them qualify for the last eight, while a win will see them top the group and most likely avoid favourites Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals. They will be buoyed by their 4-0 win over Ethiopia and can call on the tournament's top-scorer, Alain Traore, who has three strikes thus far.
Hello, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of today's Afcon Group C match between Burkina Faso and Zambia. Both sides can still qualify for the knockout stages, with reigning champions Zambia knowing only a win will assure them of not becoming the first holders of the trophy since 1990 to be eliminated in the group stages. I'm Tom Maston and you can get in touch with me on Twitter @maston91 with your predictions and thoughts throughout the match.
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