Burkina Faso beats Ethiopia 4-0 in African Cup
Adds quotes, detail. With AP Photos.
NELSPRUIT, South Africa (AP) -Alain Traore scored two goals Friday to help 10-man Burkina Faso take control of Group C with a 4-0 victory over Ethiopia in the African Cup of Nations.
Traore netted in the 34th and 74th minutes at the Mbombela Stadium to become the leading scorer in the tournament with three, and ensure that goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama's red card ultimately had no effect on the game.
Soulama was sent off with Burkina Faso leading 1-0 with half an hour remaining for handling the ball outside the area.
But Ethiopia was unable to capitalize, and Djakaridja Kone and Jonathan Pitroipa rounded off the scoring for Burkina Faso to put it top of its group with four points.
Ethiopia made four changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Zambia as it tried to counter the Burkinabes physical presence with pace.
The tactic nearly paid dividends in the opening minutes of the game when Salahdin Said's crafty backheel put Shimelese Bikele through on goal, only for his effort to hit the upright.
Burkina Faso grew in stature, and after Wilfried Sanou had a goal ruled out for offside, Traore gave it a deserved lead.
Although Ethiopia defender Degu Debebe was able to clear an initial attack off the line, the Ethiopian defense rushed out and allowed Charles Kabore to send a ball over the top for Traore to open the scoring.
The diminutive Ethiopians continued to struggle with the raw power of their opponents, and made two injury-enforced substitutions before halftime.
They were handed an unexpected advantage in the second half when Soulama snatched a relatively harmless ball from outside his penalty area and was shown a straight red card.
But as Ethiopia pressed forward, Burkina Faso was able to hit on the break and Traore rifled home his second from 30 yards out.
"The game did not go according to plan,'' Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw said. "In the second half we tried to manage it, but there were unnecessary goals from Burkina Faso and that totally destroyed our emotions.''
Kone and Pitroipa completed the rout as Ethiopia fell apart, giving Burkina Faso its first win at the African Cup in 15 years.
"We can say it was a very crazy game, and certainly in the beginning we were lucky with the ball hitting the post,'' Burkina Faso coach Paul Put said.
"But when we scored the goal you saw Burkina Faso was released to play the game. And I think when we were down to 10 men we kept very disciplined and we scored another three goals so I'm very happy.''
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