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Traore helped the country reach the quarterfinals of Afcon after a late own goal set up a thrilling finale

BURKINA FASO has secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Gabon.

A first-half goal from Aston Villa’s Bertrand Traore looked likely to be the winner until Gabon’s equalizer lasted another half an hour.

Burkina Faso players celebrate after beating Gabon on penalties

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Burkina Faso players celebrate after beating Gabon on penaltiesCredit: AFP
Burkina Faso is the first team to earn a place in the quarterfinals of AFCON

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Burkina Faso is the first team to earn a place in the quarterfinals of AFCONCredit: AFP

But the two sides could not be separated after extra time, and so this past 16th AFCON clash resulted in a fearsome penalty shootout.

And the drama that followed at Limbe Stadium in Cameroon was almost too much to understand.

BOTH Both sides failed with fourth- and sixth-place free-kicks, before Lloyd Palun’s miss meant Ismahila Ouedraogo stepped up to score the winning goal, sending Burkina Faso through to the round of 16 with a score of 7-6 on penalty mark.

Traore had previously opened the scoring for Burkina Faso in the 28th minute, and in doing so made amends for an earlier penalty.

The Aston Villa player coolly shot past Jean-Noel Amonome after being saved.

It was atonement for Traore after he missed a golden opportunity to give Burkina Faso a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot ten minutes earlier.

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Traore put Burkina Faso ahead in the first half with a beautiful goal

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Traore put Burkina Faso ahead in the first half with a beautiful goalCredit: Rex

He saw his attempt succeed after Sidney Obissa was perhaps harshly judged for shoving Issa Kabore in the box.

Obissa was then ordered to his march in the second half, although a skeptical pull towards Dango Ouattara meant he had nothing to complain about this time around.

But ten of Gabon’s men hung on as Burkina Faso squandered numerous opportunities to make the match a reality.

And they were eventually punished in the endgame phase.

A deep stoppage-time corner was taken from close range and went down by Adama Guira’s own goal.

Gabon has played without Arsenal player Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang after the striker was sent home last week due to health problems.

And despite hard fighting with ten men and without their amulets, Gabon’s late goal drew near, as Burkina Faso regrouped and took the lead after the shootout.

They will now take on the winners Nigeria vs Tunisia in the round of 16.

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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8252017/burkina-faso-1-gabon-1-penalties-traore-afcon/ Traore helped the country reach the quarterfinals of Afcon after a late own goal set up a thrilling finale

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