The Stallions of Burkina Faso have qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
The feat followed a hard fought goal-less draw with the Uganda Cranes at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Burkina Faso made the continental football fiesta even with a game in hand (against South Sudan) on 9 points ahead of Uganda’s 8 points who face off Malawi on Monday.
Uganda Cranes had the better of the game with an avalanche of goal scoring opportunities created, including Ibrahim Orit’s header that razed off the cross bar.
The opening 45 minutes ended goal-less under sunny conditions.
Uganda Cranes won their first corner kick that witnessed Faruku Miya execute an inswinger which striker Patrick Henry Kaddu missed to nod in the 13th minute.
Uganda Cranes hard tackling midfielder Tadeo Lwanga got cautioned for a foul on Bryan Boulaye towards the opening quarter hour mark.
Two minutes later, Kaddu had a shot deflected for Uganda Cranes’ second corner kick.
Another Miya in-swinging corner kick delivery flew across of the Burkina Faso.
The visitors reacted through Aston Villa midfielder Bertrand Isidore Traore who had a free-kick fly wide unattended to.
Traore recovered from a knock to soldier midway the opening stanza.
Towards the half hour mark, Miya had a chipped free-kick well collected by goalkeeper Herve Koffi in the Burkina Faso goal posts.
Burkina Faso’s left back Steeve Farid Yago was booked for blocking path of pacy winger Abdul Lumala, playing at home for the very first time.
In the 33rd minute, Burkina Faso goalkeeper Koffi got injured after knocking stadium advertisement board but responded well to treatment.
Mohammed Konate tracked back to defend yet another Miya corner kick as the first half neared its climax.
Joseph Ochaya clears away a delivery from the left by Bertrand Traore
Miya was brought down right on the edge of the goal area. Joseph Ochaya free-kick hit the Burkina Faso defensive wall
Upon restart of play, Uganda Cranes technical bench introduced Ibrahim Orit and Moses Waiswa for Abdul Lumala and Mike Azira respectively.
The home side lost striker Patrick Henry Kaddu through injury and Fahad Aziz Bayo took over his place.
Miya was slower to meet Ochaya’s cross from the left flank at the back post.
Orit headed a Miya corner kick onto the cross bar in the 68th minute as Cranes pushed numbers forward.
During the final 20 minutes, Burkina Faso made three changes.
Mohamed Konate was replaced by Lassina Chamste Soudine Franck Traore, Bryan Dabo Boulaye paved way for Hassane Bande Boureima and Abdou Razack Traore was replaced by Guira Adama.
With 12 minutes to play, Orit’s chip fell in the path of Wadada but the ball rolled out of play.
Miya had a chance to break the ice but his curled ball inside the goal area was a routine collection for goalkeeper Herve .
Burkina Faso’s Adama Guira got booked in the closing minutes of the game.
Zakaria Sanogo was pushed on for Barros Bayala with five minutes to play.
Uganda’s last chance fell to Fahad Bayo who missed contact to connect Wadada’s high cross from the right.
Burkina Faso celebrated the point that attained them qualification to AFCON 2021 ahead of their last game at home against South Sudan in Ouagadougou.
Meanwhile, Uganda Cranes still has the chance to seal the second slot in the group with a win or draw in Malawi on Monday, 29th March 2021.
Uganda Cranes XI: Dennis Onyango (Goalkeeper – Captain), Nicholas Wadada, Joseph Ochaya, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Taddeo Lwanga, Abdu Lumala, Mike Azira, Patrick Henry Kaddu, Emmanuel Okwi, Faruku Miya
46’ Ibrahim Orit In, Abdul Lumala Out
46’ Moses Waiswa In, Mike Azira Out
58’ Fahad Bayo In, Patrick Henry Kaddu Out
Subs Not Used: Charles Lukwago (G.K), Salim Jamal Magoola (G.K), Ronald Mukiibi Ddungu, Elvis Bwomono, Mustafa Kizza, Allan Okello, Yunus Sentamu, Daniel Isiagi Opolot, William Luwagga