African Cup of Nations - Sudan win to go through

Mon, 30 Jan 20:09:00 2012

Sudan are through to the last eight of the African Cup of Nations after beating Burkina Faso 2-1 in the final Group B game in Bata.

Sudan's Mudathir El Tahir and Mosaab Omer celebrate their goal at the African Championship of Nations - 0

The result, allied to Ivory Coast's 2-0 in over Angola, means that Sudan make the last eight as east Africa's sole representatives.

Mudather Eltaib El Tahir netted twice for Sudan, whilst Burkina Faso skipper Moumouni Dagano scored a consolation deep into injury-time.

Burkina Faso, already out of the tournament after defeats by Ivory Coast and Angola, started by far the more positively, and absolutely dominated the first 20 minutes.

Sudan suffered an early blow as defender Nagm Eldin was stretchered off in the fourth minute after colliding with his own goalkeeper Akram. The incident happened as the Sudan pair attempted to keep out Jonathan Pitroipa as he ran onto a Dagano backheel.

Three minutes later, Dagano saw a header from 15 yards out clip the post, then the Burkina Faso captain was unlucky to see a floated free-kick inch just over the crossbar.

Sudan committed ten fouls to Burkina Faso's three in the first twenty-five minutes, proof positive of Mohamed 'Mazda' Abdallah's team's failure to get a foothold in the game.

But finally, his side woke up, and it was playmaker Mohamed Taher who proved the difference.

First, after a 28th minute foul by Djakaridja Kone, Taher got up and saw a free-kick from just outside the area deflect just wide of Diakite's goal.

Then the 24-year-old provided the reverse pass for El Tahir to open the scoring in the 33rd minute.

El Tahir beat Burkinabe defender Tall to the loose ball, and hacked the ball out from under his feet to beat Diakite from 12 yards.

The goal galvanised Sudan, who were suddenly infused with self-belief, and Burkina Faso spent the next ten minutes trying to get the ball off Mazda's men.

But Sudan still had to be wary of Burkina Faso on the break, and were fortunate not to concede in the 42nd minute.

It was Pitroipa who had the chance, after a great reverse pass from Dagano, but his shot was weak and straight at Akram.

Surprisingly, Sudan were equally as disjointed at the start of the second half as they had been at the start of the first, and Burkina Faso substitute Issiaka Ouedraogo really should have scored in the 54th minute with one of his first touches, only to poke wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

The same player then almost set up the ever dangerous Dagano five minutes later, the striker heading just wide after leaping above Saif Eldin twenty yards from goal.

Burkina Faso brought on 16-year-old Bertrand Traore in the second half, to become the third youngest Nations Cup player in history, but the Chelsea player unwittingly contributed to Sudan's second in the 80th minute.

His weak shot was straight at Akram, and having saved, the Sudan goalkeeper belted the ball up the centre of the pitch. Diakite should easily have made the ball as it bounced near the edge of his area, but tarried and failed to claim it, allowing El Tahir to dance through and roll the ball into the net.

Burkina Faso skipper Dagano scored a consolation deep into injury-time with a header, a deserved goal for his all-round contribution, but Sudan had done enough to go through.

Nick Royle / Eurosport

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