Burkina Faso vs. Zambia: Les Etalons Eliminate Zambia, Lose Top Scorer to Injury

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2013

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations saw the current holders eliminated at the group stage, as Burkina Faso and Zambia played out a 0-0 draw in Group C.

A single point was enough to see Burkina Faso seal their own progress, and it was the first time they have qualified past the groups since 1998.

For Zambia, though, winners in 2012, they made an ignominious exit after failing to win a single game this time around—they drew all three fixtures.

As good as the achievement is for Burkina Faso, they may be heading into the knock-out stages without their key striker, and top scorer in the tournament so far, Alain Traore.

The Lorient striker picked up what looked like a thigh or hamstring injury after less than a quarter of an hour against Zambia, and Les Etalons certainly looked rather toothless in attack without him on the pitch.

Traore scored the last-minute equaliser for Burkina Faso against Nigeria in the first match day, before lashing in two fearsome strikers against Ethiopia in the following fixture (see video). Those goals opened up a 2-0 lead, which Burkina Faso went on to double, racking up the competition's biggest score to date so far in a 4-0 victory.

Burkina Faso have other options available to them up front, but only veteran captain Moumouni Dagano—who has not figured since the first game—has more goals at international level than Traore, who will be a big miss in the quarterfinals.