Burkina Faso vs. Egypt: Score and Reaction from AFCON 2017 Semi-Finals

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2017

Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary celebrates at the end of the penalty shootout of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final football match between Burkina Faso and Egypt at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on February 1, 2017. / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images

Veteran goalkeeper Essam El Hadary was the hero for Egypt as he made two crucial saves in a penalty shootout to see the Pharaohs through to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final at the expense of Burkina Faso.

Second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Aristide Bance had sent the semi-final clash into extra time and, when neither side could find a winner, the match went to penalties.

Herve Koffi saved Egypt's first penalty, but 44-year-old El Hadary then kept out the Stallions' last two spot-kicks to see his side through to the final with a 4-3 win in the shootout.

African football writer Maher Mezahi provided the lineups ahead of kick-off:

Burkina Faso slightly edged a sluggish opening few minutes, Blati Toure forcing a save off the line after a poor clearance from El Hadary in the eighth minute.

However, Egypt slowly began to show their quality, and a bending effort from Trezeguet flew just wide of the post in the 17th minute.

Burkina Faso dominated possession but carved out few opportunities of any real note, Egypt's tight defending limiting Bertrand Traore and Prejuce Nakoulma to shots from distance.

AFCON 2017 provided the stats from the opening 45 minutes, with Burkina Faso clearly the dominant team:

They looked even better after the break, Traore forcing a save from a free-kick just four minutes into the second half.

Bance also had a couple of half chances before the hour mark, but despite Burkina Faso's dominance, Egypt remained a threat on the break, per football writer Jonathan Wilson:

And after 66 minutes Salah found the opener, putting Egypt ahead with a sumptuous finish from the edge of the box.

Given that the Pharaohs had not conceded in their last six matches, it looked a long way back for the Stallions.

But a fine goal from Bance saw his side level 17 minutes from time. Controlled brilliantly on his chest from a looping Charles Kabore ball, the 32-year-old struck a bullet finish into the back of the net, per BBC World's Piers Edwards:

Burkina Faso continued to dominate the play to the end of 90 minutes and into extra time, but penalties always seemed inevitable.

The Stallions goalkeeper Koffi looked set to be the hero as he saved Egypt's first penalty, but he then saw his own effort palmed away to make it 3-3 with one spot-kick each to go.

Amr Warda then slotted home for Egypt before El Hadary saved Traore's penalty to send the Pharaohs into Sunday's final.

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