Egypt booked their place in the 2017 AFCON final, beating Burkina Faso 4-3 on penalties after 120 minutes at the Stade de l'Amitie in Libreville on Wednesday night had ended at 1-1.
- Burkina Faso 1 Egypt 1
- Egypt win 4-3 on penalties
- Salah puts Egypt ahead
- Bance equalises
- Kahraba to miss the final after a second yellow card in two games
- The Pharaohs to play either Cameroon or Ghana in the final
Burkina Faso were the livelier of the two sides in the opening half, but failed to covert half chances into goals. The west Africans also enjoyed the better of the second stanza although they had to fight back with an equaliser after Egypt scored first. They remained the more industrious team throughout extra time, but could not find a second goal.
The Stallions started the game with purpose, Egypt's veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary making some early saves to keep out Razack Traore's speculative drive on three minutes and then Blati Toure's half volley from inside the box on four minutes later.
Aristide Bance wasn't far off with a 25-yard drive which skidded off the turf and he also missed the target by a couple of yards with a spectacular bicycle kick as the Burkinabe continued to ask questions of the Pharaohs defence.
It was the north Africans though who came closest to scoring in the opening half, but Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan's curling shot from the left hand side of the box shaved the outside of the far post.
They had another chance seven minutes before half time when Mahmoud 'Kahraba' Abdel-Moneim's long-ranger nearly caught out Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi after the ball skidded and spun off the wet turf.
With a day's more rest ahead of the game than their opponents, the Stallions continued to dominate proceedings after the break and had two penalty appeals for hand-ball tuned down while El-Hadary had to palm away a Bertrand Traore free kick.
It was from a very rare attack that Egypt took the lead midway through the second half after Mohamed Salah, who had been quiet all game, expertly curled the ball into the top corner of the net following a neat build-up.
But the Stallions were back in the match seven minutes later when Charles Kabore picked out Bance in the box, the burly striker doing superbly to chest the ball down before smashing in a low shot from 14-yards out. The goal was the first the Pharaohs have conceded in the tournament.
El-Hadary had to make saves from Nakoulma and Bance as the game went past the 80 minute mark, and then recovered brilliantly to tip Banou Diawara's looping effort over the bar in added time as Burkina Faso came close on several occasions to finding a winner in regulation time.
Bance forced wide from a tight angle and there were a couple of other anxious moments and some committed defending in the Egyptian rearguard as the Stallions continued to threaten throughout the first half of extra time. It was the same case for the final 15 minutes as Paulo Duarte's side pushed and probed for a goal without reward.
Stallions keeper Koffi saved the first kick of the shoot-out, touching Abdallah El-Said's effort onto the upright. But El-Hadary came up trumps with two stops as he denied Koffi and then Traore to keep the Pharaohs on track for an eighth AFCON title despite having been second best on the night.