World News

Senegal advance to Africa Cup of Nations final with 3-1 win over Burkina Faso

Tom Gott
Senegal are through to the AFCON final
Senegal are through to the AFCON final / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/GettyImages

Senegal became the first side to qualify for the final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations following a comfortable 3-1 victory over Burkina Faso.

It was a hectic game, with both sides enjoying plenty of chances, but the pre-tournament favourites always looked like coming out on top.

Aliou Cisse's side had a shout for a penalty wiped off by VAR on the half-hour mark, but the incident still took a toll as Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi was forced off with an injury.

Senegal were awarded a penalty deep into first-half stoppage time when Edmond Tapsoba was deemed to have blocked Idrissa Gueye's shot with his hand, but VAR confirmed that the Bayer Leverkusen centre-back had no hope of getting his arm out of the way and overruled the decision to keep things level at the break.

It took 71 minutes for the first goal of the game to arrive. PSG defender Abdou Diallo was in the right place at the right time to poke home following some poor defending of a corner, and that strike saw the contest roar back into life.

Gueye added a second soon after in similarly scrappy fashion. Bamba Dieng went for the same ball and struck his shot first, but Gueye got the final touch to put Senegal two goals to the good.

With ten minutes to go, Burkina Faso threatened to make a game of it as Ibrahim Blati Toure kneed the ball into the back of the net, but Senegal flexed their class to kill off the game and even added a third through Sadio Mane.

The Liverpool man pounced on the counter and pulled out a lovely lob when one-on-one with the goalkeeper to put the game to bed.

For Senegal, it's a chance to avenge their defeat in the final of 2019. Manager Cisse is just the third African to reach back-to-back AFCON finals, and he'll hope to go one step further this time around. They'll face either Egypt or hosts Cameroon in the final.