Egypt break Burkina Faso hearts with penalty shootout win
Africa Cup of Nations, Semi-Final – Burkina Faso 1 (Bance 73) Egypt 1 (Salah 66) Egypt win 4-3 on penalties
Essam El Hadary was the hero as the veteran Egyptian goalkeeper saved the final two penalties to deny Burkina Faso in their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final shootout.
Egpyt opened the scoring in the second half when Mohamed Salah curled home an excellent shot from the edge of the box.
But Burkina Faso kept their AFCON dreams alive when Aristide Bancé volleyed in a tidy equaliser to take the game to extra-time.
Neither side was able to force a winner, so the crowd at the Stade de l'Amitié were treated to the nerve-shredding spectacle of a penalty shoot-out.
It was harsh on Burkina Faso, who had dominated proceedings on the night and were also ahead in the shootout before veteran 44-year-old keeper El Hadary saved the last two spot kicks.
The defeat left Burkina Faso keeper Kouakou Koffi, 24 years El Hadary’s junior, in floods of tears after he missed his side’s penultimate penalty.
Victory grants Egypt a crack at their eighth African Cup of Nations trophy in their ninth final.
Defence is the best form of attack
Egypt had won their previous three matches with cagey, counter attacking play and never really looked like scoring before Mohamed Salah’s cracker. It may not be the most popular or attractive, but so far the ends have justified the means.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Essam Al Hadary (Egypt): Perhaps there were several more deserving players on the Burkina Faso side, but this is a sentimental pick and two fine penalty saves got the job done for the incredible 44-year-old.
Egypt's Essam El-Hadary and Ahmed Elmohamady celebrateReuters
67’ - GOAL! Burkina Faso 1-0 Egypt: That’s totally against the run of play and possibly the only way Egypt were going to score. Mohamed Salah with an outrageous finish into the top corner from the edge of the box from Elmohamady's set.
67’ - GOAL! Burkina Faso 1-1 Egypt: Really well worked as Bance takes it on his chest and volleys home from Kone’s cross.
Burkina Faso's Aristide Bance celebrates scoring their first goalReuters
PENALTY SAVE! Burkina Faso 0-0 Egypt: El Said first up for Egypt and Koffi saves it onto the post!
PENALTY SAVE! Burkina Faso 3-3 Egypt: Koffi, the keeper takes! And it’s a fine save from El Hadary. Level again. Good save from the veteran.
PENALTY SAVE! Burkina Faso 3-4 Egypt: Bertrand Traore has his spot kick saved and Egypt have done it again!
- Egypt have reached their ninth Africa Cup of Nations final