Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Holders Zambia crash out with draw
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Holders Zambia crash out of the competition after being held to a goalless draw by Burkina Faso
Reigning champions Zambia are out of the Africa Cup of Nations after failing to beat Burkina Faso in Nelspruit, falling at the group stage.
Southampton’s Emmanual Mayuka wasted Zambia’s best chance of the game and the Stallions held out, leaving the game goalless.
The Burkinabe’s were hit with a big blow in the opening 10 minutes of the game after tournament top-scorer Alain Traore was stretchered off the pitch with a muscle tear.
The first chance of the game fell to Zambia in the 16th minute after a bobbling ball reached former Portsmouth striker Collins Mbesuma 10-yards out, but the striker snatched the shot straight into the hands of keeper Daouda Diakite.
Minutes later, the Burkinabe were back attacking Zambia’s defence, but an off-balance Charles Kabore failed to control the volley and fired the ball wide.
Zambia’s experienced substitute Joseph Musonda picked up the first booking of the game on the half-hour mark after leading with his elbow into a late challenge on Florent Rouamba.
Moments later, his team-mate Emmanuel Mayuka was also booked for diving over the trailing leg of Burkinabe defender Paul Koulibal.
Zambia had the chance to lead on the stroke of half-time after catching the Stallions defence off-guard, but the bouncing header from Rainford Kalaba went straight into the keepers hands.
Burkina Faso opened the second-half as they left off but another opportunity went amiss after Bance drilled another free-kick straight into the wall.
Southampton’s Mayuka made a darting run down the left wing for Zambia in the 52nd minute but his low, hard cross could only be hacked clear by Lyon defender Bakary Kone.
Zambia’s final chance fell to Reading prospect Stopilla Sunzu but the defender could only swipe the ball wide and high over the bar in the dying minutes of the game.
Burkina Faso – who are level on top of group C with Nigeria – will now have to wait for other results to see who they face in the quarter-finals.