Burkina Faso is the first country to qualify for the quarterfinals after beating Gabon in a Penalty shootout (Video)

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Burkina Faso defeated Gabon 7-6 in a penalty shootout to go to the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals after a 1:1 draw at full-time.

Burkina Faso is the first country to qualify for the quarterfinals after beating Gabon in a shootout

Burkina Faso triumphed 3-0 in a warm-up match at the start of the year, and they took the lead when Bertrand Traore scored the opening goal.

The Villa striker missed a penalty following Sidney Obissa’s rough challenge in the area, but he converted a far more difficult opportunity minutes later when he sized up a one-on-one with Jean-Noel Amonome outside the box, clipping the ball around him.

The Villa striker missed a penalty following Sidney Obissa’s rough challenge in the area, but he converted a far more difficult opportunity minutes later when he sized up a one-on-one with Jean-Noel Amonome outside the box, clipping the ball around him.

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Gabon struggled to find its flow in the second half, and a penalty appeal for a foul on Guelor Kanga resulting from a defensive blunder was knocked down.

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Obissa then drew Issouf Outtara back just outside the box, reducing the trailing side to ten men and making their job much more difficult.

Both teams faded as the game got ragged due to exhaustion, until Bruno Ecuele Manga came up with a late header, which Adama Guira deflected in to force extra time.

Burkina Faso is the first country to qualify for the quarterfinals after beating Gabon in a shootout

After Edmond Tapsoba’s extra-time winner was disallowed due to his earlier offside, Ismahila Ouedraogo scored to win the game for his nation after 18 penalties.

Watch Video Below

Gabon Has Failed To Live Up To Its Potential

They came into the match undefeated, and despite a warm-up setback against the same team earlier in January, they seemed to have the upper hand early on.

However, their lack of discipline lost them a penalty and a critical yellow card, before sloppy defense enabled Traore to score the game-winner.

They appeared as likely to score as their opponents in the second half, until another rash, needless Obissa decision reduced them to ten men, leaving them panting for a chance as their opponents had them on the ropes.

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Perhaps the additional energy might have saved a few of missed penalties.

Bertrand Traore was named Man of the Match (Burkina Faso)

Burkina Faso is the first country to qualify for the quarterfinals after beating Gabon in a shootout

Although the Aston Villa striker was not on the field for the shootout, the manner he led the line and extended play, not to mention his goal, was essential in tiring Gabon out. Gabon could have exploited their initial lead and never fallen behind if it hadn’t been for him.

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