Friday, May 27

Afcon Round of 16: Tunisia stun Nigeria with 10 men after Burkina Faso beat Gabon | African Cup of Nations 2022

Youssef Msakni scored with a long-range shot to give Covid-battered Tunisia an unlikely 1-0 victory over 10-man Nigeria in Garoua on Sunday to advance to the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

Their captain hit a low kick from outside the penalty area two minutes into the second period to put Nigeria out of the tournament.

Nigeria had been the only team to win all three of their group stage matches and were heavy favourites, as Tunisia struggled without seven players, who were isolated.

But Tunisia, who also had to do without coach Mondher Kebaier due to Covid, advanced to face Burkina Faso in the quarterfinals next Saturday, also in Garoua.

There were few opportunities in the game with Tunisia producing a strong defensive performance and looking for counter attacking opportunities. Nigeria couldn’t get their game flowing, despite having beaten Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau in their previous games.

They were reduced to 10 men when Alex Iwobi was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the 66th minute, seven minutes after coming on. The referee originally gave him a caution, but was encouraged to review the penalty on the VAR screen next to the pitch, changed his mind and sent off Iwobi.

The 31-year-old Msakni, competing in his seventh Nations Cup final but starting his first match of the tournament, had time to line up his shot and swerve to catch Maduka Okoye, who only managed to get a hand for it.

“We were punished for a mistake,” Nigeria coach Augustine Eguavoen said. “Alex shouldn’t have gotten a red card, but the referee saw it differently. But congratulations to Tunisia.”

It was a notable turnaround for the North Africans, who had lost two of their three first-round matches, including an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Gambia three days ago.

Nigeria threw the players towards the end near the end and substitute Umar Sadiq could well have forced the equalizer in stoppage time, but his effort went horribly wide of goal.

Burkina Faso held off some gutsy backcourt action from 10-man Gabon to advance to the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals with a 7-6 win on penalties after drawing 1-1 in their round of 16 match in Limb on Sunday.

Ismahila Ouédraogo scored the decisive goal after a clash full of incidents and energy.

After Burkina Faso captain Bertrand Traoré scored early, 10-man Gabon took the game into extra time after a dramatic last-minute equalizer. But in the end, the Burkinabe kept their nerve in a dramatic firefight.

The first goal came after Traoré took advantage of a pass that split the defense of teenager Dango Ouattara to finish with a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area in the 28th minute, as he beat the Gabonese defense and charging goalkeeper with his effort. sneak into the pole

Bertrand Traore had an eventful match against Gabon, missing a penalty before scoring the goal to make it 1-0.
Bertrand Traore had an eventful match against Gabon, missing a penalty before scoring the goal to make it 1-0. Photograph: BackpagePix/Shutterstock

He made up for a penalty that Traoré squandered some 11 minutes earlier when he hit the crossbar, Cameroon’s ninth failed penalty attempt at the tournament.

The penalty was conceded by Gabonese centre-back Sidney Obissa, who received a second booking in the 67th minute for holding an attacker and was sent off, leaving his teammates down to 10 men for nearly an hour.

Traoré was continually threatening on the counterattack and Ouattara also had chances at half-time as Gabon were often caught trying to push forward for an equaliser.

Gabonese striker Aaron Boupendza had the ball in the net four minutes before halftime but was slightly offside and his goalkeeper Jean-Noel Amonome also blocked a close-range shot from Blati Touré and Adama Guira in the last 10 full minutes. of action.

And it was Guira who was credited with an own goal after Gabon captain Bruno Ecuele Manga perfectly timed his run into the penalty area to power his header into goal and rescue his team.

The match needed 18 penalties with both teams wasting chances to win before substitute Ouédraogo scored the winner.

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