One of the most incompetently officiated matches. All the critical decisions went against the Burkinabe. Jonathan Pitroipa gets flattened by John Boye in the box, a clear offence, and one that merited a penalty. Nothing given. At the other end, Mady Panandetiguiri made incidental contact with Christian Atsu after he headed the ball towards goal and referee Jdidi Slim of Tunisia without even deliberating a second awarded a penalty. This was getting suspicious. Mubarak Wakaso made no mistake as the Black Stars went ahead on the strength of a tainted moment.
The Stallions fought back magnificently and two minutes later, Aristide Bance, a handful all match, finished with aplomb curling his shot past Abul Fatawu Dauda for the equalizer. With the teams deadlocked in regulation, the Stallions came into their own during extra time, looking fresher and stronger. Bance was proving unstoppable with just his last touch deserting him.
The Stallions should have gone ahead in the 105th minute as Prejuce Nakoulma battling with Kwadwo Asamoa for possession of a long ball managed to toe it over Dauda. Their jubilation was short lived because referee Slim kept up his theme of deriving perverse pleasure by denying them once again. He then added some more misery as Pitroipa cutting into the box was brought down by Boye kicking at him for another clear penalty call. Instead, in another head scratching decision, the winger was booked for diving, receiving his second card and sent off. The match ended with Gyan and Bance missing on either end.
So it went to PKs and fittingly, Bance, turned out the winning penalty as he coolly and calmly slotted the ball past the wrongfooted Dauda. At the other end Ghana's Emmanuel Badu had his spot kick saved by Daouda Diakite. The Stallions made history with their first entry into the finals. Even the most jaded heart can take comfort that justice finally prevailed.