- Team Senegal beat Burkina Faso 3-1 in an all-west African semifinal encounter to qualify for the AFCON final for the second time in a row.
Senegal struck three times in the last 20 minutes to book their place in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final as they saw off Burkina Faso 3-1 in a west African encounter
Abdou Diallo scored from close range of goal after a corner kick for Senegal, breaking the deadlock in the 70th minute of the semifinal at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde, while a strike from Bamba Dieng doubled Senegal’s lead six minutes later.
Burkina Faso narrowed the gap to one goal when Blati Toure scored with his knee after a cross from the right in the 82nd minute. However, the Liverpool star Sadio Mane chipped the ball over Burkina Faso’s substitute goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo to double the gap on a quick counterattack in the 87th minute, making it 3-1.
Senegal, who were runners-up at the last edition in 2019 after losing to Algeria, will meet hosts Cameroon or Egypt in the final. The second semi-final will be played at Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium at 19:00 GMT on Thursday while Burkina Faso are set for the third-place playoff on Sunday.
There were two penalty awards for Senegal in the first half but both were overturned after the referee Bamlak Tessema of Ethiopia was encouraged to review his decision by VAR.
Meanwhile, Bamlak Tessema had one of the best games of his career that got praising him for his officiating during Senegal's semi-final win over Burkina Faso at the Africa Cup of Nations. He handed Senegal a penalty midway through the first half after goalkeeper Herve Koffi came out for a high ball and punched away, hitting Cheikhou Kouyate in the face.
But he made contact with the ball first and so the penalty award was rescinded, although Koffi was injured in the fall with Kouyate and had to go off.
Then deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half, Gana Gueye’s shot from the edge of the area hit Tapsoba and the referee pointed to the spot, but again on review changed his decision when he saw on the pitchside VAR screen that there was no handball.