Burkina Faso advanced to the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup as Group A winners following a 2-0 win over Guinea Bissau, who are eliminated from the tournament.
The 2013 runners-up were guaranteed a place in the knockout phase if they came away from the Stade de Franceville with a victory, which they secured thanks to an own goal from Rudinilson and a Bertrand Traore strike.
Traore should have opened the scoring for the Stallions in the eighth minute when he raced through with only goalkeeper Jonas Mendes to beat but the Chelsea forward, on loan at Ajax, curled his left-footed effort just wide of the far post.
But they only had to wait four more minutes for their side to break the deadlock as Traore’s chipped through ball was not dealt with properly by the Guinea Bissau defence and centre-back Rudinilson could only head past the on-rushing Mendes and into his own net.
Burkina Faso punished Guinea Bissau’s inability to find the target with a quick counter which resulted in Traore finding the bottom left corner with a composed finish to double his side’s advantage just before the hour mark.
Traore nearly added a third for the Stallions but his effort drifted just wide and Silva blazed over late on as the Stallions took the three points to remain unbeaten in the competition.
Abdallah El Said scored with a minute left as Egypt snatched a 1-0 win over Uganda on Saturday that leaves them on the verge of the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals and eliminated their opponents.
The substitute lashed in from a Mohamed Salah pass to leave the seven-time champions needing only a point from their last Group D game against Ghana — who beat Mali 1-0 earlier in the day — to go through.
“We tried to play good football but things perhaps did not turn out the way we wanted them to,” admitted Egypt coach Hector Cuper after a poor match on an awful surface.
“It was difficult on that pitch and in this climate but we won and that is the important thing.”
Uganda, who had a Joseph Ochaya effort disallowed early in the second half, are the first team to be knocked out of this Cup of Nations after a second consecutive 1-0 defeat.
Thanks to El Said’s heroics, Egypt head into Wednesday’s final Group D clash with already-qualified Ghana knowing they need only a point to qualify.
Morocco came from behind to defeat Togo 3-1 at the same venue with Aziz Bouhaddouz, Romain Saiss and Youssef En-nesyri netting after Mathieu Dossevi had opened the scoring.
DR Congo are top of Group C with four points and know a draw with Togo in their last game in Port-Gentil on Tuesday will take them through to the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, the Ivory Coast trail Morocco by a point and so have no choice but to win when the teams clash in their last match.
This latest result puts destiny in the hands of Morocco, their much-needed win crafted by the brilliance of Deportivo’s Faycal Fajr.
Fajr laid on both the first two goals, grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and proving his country’s creative catalyst.
They will be hoping he can recreate such form in the final game showdown with Ivory Coast.