Bertrand Traore’s Burkina Faso suffered penalty shoot-out heartache as they were beaten by Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final.
Traore, who had been hugely impressive during the game, missed from the spot after Burkina Faso had led for the majority of the shoot-out, sending Egypt through to a final against either Ghana or Cameroon.
Former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah had given Egypt the lead midway through the second half before Aristide Bance drew Burkina Faso level soon after.
Traore, currently on loan at Ajax, started for Burkina Faso who were the better team on the balance of play and looked the more dangerous of the two sides in the attacking third.
The youngster fizzed a free-kick just over the bar towards the end of a first half in which Burkina Faso had pushed for an opener but were unable to find the breakthrough.
Four minutes into the second half Traore again went close with a free-kick, this time forcing the goalkeeper into an awkward save as he saw it late.
Traore, whose older brother Alain came off the bench, got the better of Salah in the midfield area before teeing up Bance as they looked to make the most of their dominance, but it was Egypt who took the lead against the run of play in the 65th minute.
The goal which broke the deadlock was one of the highest quality as Salah met a Kahraba knock-down and fired a first-time effort into the top corner.
It was harsh on Burkina Faso, but within seven minutes they were back on level terms. The build-up play was neat, and Bance’s finish equally impressive as he brought a cross down and volleyed into the back of the net.
Bance went close early in extra-time after being put through by Traore, but with both sides unable to find the decisive goal it was down to penalties.
Alain Traore gave Burkina Faso the lead after Egypt missed their first kick, but the balance of the shoot-out turned when Burkina Faso goalkeeper Koffi saw his strike saved. Egypt scored with their next kick meaning Traore’s miss proved fatal.
With Egypt progressing, Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny will miss the Gunners’ trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Christian Atsu will hope to be involved for Ghana as they meet Cameroon in the second semi-final tomorrow. Baba Rahman is out injured.
The post was obtained from Chelsea Football Club’s official website.