Sports Desk, Jan 29 (EFE).- Burkina Faso upended Tunisia 1-0 Saturday to reach the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations hours after host nation Cameroon dispatched Gambia 2-0 to book their spot in the final four.
Tunisia, who hoisted the trophy in 2004 and are 30th in FIFA’s global rankings, were favored against the 60th-ranked Burkinabe, whose best previous performance in the continental tournament is a second-place finish in 2013.
And the Eagles of Carthage had 61 percent possession, yet the Stallions matched Tunisia on shots with 10 and a goal on the counter by Dango Ouattara in second-half stoppage time would prove to be the winner in the match at Omnisport Roumde Adjia stadium in Garoua.
Neither side generated many chances in the second half.
Burkinabe goalkeeper Herve Koffi tipped a strike from Wahbi Khazri over the cross-bar and Tunisia’s Bechir Ben Said denied Cyrille Bayala.
With 15 minutes left in regulation, Tunisia clamored for a penalty after an encounter in the box between Khazri and Soumaila Ouattara, but a look at the replay on the VAR monitor convinced referee Joshua Bondo that the Burkinabe player got the ball before colliding with the Tunisian.
The Eagles got a lifeline in the 82nd minute when goal-scorer Dango Ouattara was sent off with a straight red card for elbowing Edmond Tapsoda, but the Tunisians were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
Burkina Faso will be without the 19-year-old Dango in the semifinal against the winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea.
Earlier Saturday in Douala, Cameroon’s most populous city, the mighty home side cruised against Gambia, playing in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.
Cameroon, who have won the competition five times and finished second on two other occasions, dominated throughout and would have taken the lead in the first half but for an excellent save by Gambian keeper Baboucar Gaye to thwart Vincent Aboubakar.
The breakthrough came in the 50th minute, when Collins Fai’s cross found Karl Toko Ekambi and the Olympique Lyon man headed it past Gaye for the 1-0.
Toko Ekambi made it 2-0 seven minutes later.
Egypt and Morocco will battle Sunday for the chance to meet Cameroon in the semifinal. EFE apa/dr