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Burkina Faso 1-0 Mauritania: Traore's added-time penalty clinches win
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Bertrand Traore was Burkina Faso's match winner
Bertrand Traore was Burkina Faso's match winner

Bertrand Traore scored a late penalty as Burkina Faso snatched a 1-0 victory over Mauritania in their Africa Cup of Nations opener.

Aston Villa’s Traore, a former Chelsea forward who is currently on loan at Istanbul Basaksehir, netted in added time to decide the Group D game in Bouake.

Mauritania, making their third appearance at the tournament, were denied on two occasions in the first half as Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi kept out efforts from striker Aboubakary Koita.

Mauritania have only scored one goal in the history of the tournament and their goalless run since 2019 continued when Koffi denied Sidi Amar in the second period, before Traore settled the contest late on.

The game’s first chance fell to Koita, who drilled straight into the grasp of Koffi six minutes in.

Burkina Faso produced their first strike on target 10 minutes later when Mohamed Konate rose highest from a free-kick but saw his header comfortably saved by Babacar Niasse.

Mauritania were looking for their first ever win in the competition and came close to the opener half an hour in when Koffi was wrong-footed by a Koita free-kick but recovered to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.

Mauritania, ranked 48 places below their opponents in the FIFA rankings, threatened again through Hemeya Tanjy but his effort from outside the area was saved.

Burkina Faso started the second period with a little more zest and had a chance when Stephane Aziz Ki received a ball from Issoufou Dayo and shot just wide.

Mauritania almost snatched the lead in superb fashion with 15 minutes to go when substitute Amar twisted and turned outside the box before unleashing an effort towards goal which was tipped wide by Koffi.

Burkina Faso, who had scored in their previous 14 AFCON matches, were next to threaten when Traore’s curling strike was plucked out of the top corner by goalkeeper Niasse.

They were given the chance to make the decisive breakthrough in added time following a VAR check, after Nouh El Abd brought Issa Kabore down inside the box.

Traore, a 73rd-minute substitute, stepped up and slammed the ball home to ensure a first win in their opening game of the tournament in 13 attempts for Burkina Faso.


Africa Cup of NationsBertrand TraoreBurkina FasoMauritania
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