(Sporting Alert) — Burkina Faso raced to the top of the Africa Cup of Nations Group C zone with a commanding 4-0 victory over Ethiopia at Mbombela Stadium on Friday.
Watch Video: Burkina Faso 4 vs Ethiopia 0
The winners were also reduced to ten-players, after experienced goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama was sent off on the hour mark for handling the ball outside of his penalty area.
In the group’s other game, Nigeria led their lead slipped and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Zambia, their second tie of the campaign.
Burkina Faso Beat Ethiopia Easily
At Mbombela Stadium, Alain Traore fired Burkina Faso into a 34th minute lead with a nice finish as his team took a 1-0 half-time lead.
Coach Paul Put side then scored three more goals in the second, despite going down a man, with Traore, Djakaridja Kone and Jonathan Pitroipa all getting on the scoresheet after the interval.
“When we scored (our first goal), it acted as a release,” said Burkina Faso coach Put. “We played freely and with 10 players against 11, we did very well.
“This is great for our confidence. Everyone wanted to prove something.
“We are closer to qualifying, but we have to keep our feet on the ground.”
Ethiopia struggled to get any good shots at the Burkina Faso goal and slumped to the embarrassing defeat.
Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw said: “We weren’t expecting this result, but anything can happen in football.
“I believe we still have a chance of qualifying.”
John Obi Mikel, Nigeria Let It Slip
Nigeria missed a glorious chance to move closer to qualifying from Group C after they were held 1-1 by defending champions Zambia.
Emmanuel Emenike gave Nigeria the lead, but Kennedy Mweene slotted home from the penalty spot in the 85th minute to earn his team a draw.
Chelsea midfielder Obi Mikel missed a first half penalty kick.
Burkina Faso leads Group C standings with four points, while Nigeria and Zambia both have 2pts and Ethiopia, one.