Sudan reaches quarters for 1st time in 42 years
Sudan reached the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 42 years on Monday, beating Burkina Faso 2-1 to squeeze through on goal difference and edge out Angola.
Mudather Tayeb scored both of Sudan's goals at Estadio de Bata to deliver the nation's biggest football moment since it won the African Cup on home soil in 1970. It was also Sudan's first win at the tournament since that triumph.
Mudather broke clear to beat Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite in the 33rd minute and then punished a mistake by the keeper in the second half to dramatically carry Sudan through, despite a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time from the Burkinabes which caused a nerve-fraying final few moments for the Sudanese.
Angola, which needed just a point from its final match to go through, lost 2-0 to already-qualified Ivory Coast in Group B's other game in Malabo, surrendering second place to Sudan and being eliminated after conceding one more goal in the group stage.
It came down to overall goal difference for Sudan and Angola after the teams drew 2-2 in their group meeting.
Burkina Faso missed a string of chances, the worst of which came from substitute Issiaka Ouedraogo in the 85th when he shot over from right in front of the goal.
Sudan will play Group A winner Zambia, while tournament favorite Ivory Coast meets co-host Equatorial Guinea in the last eight.
Sudan was forced into an early change when defender Nagmaldien Abdullah was left dazed by a boot in the face from a Burkinabe striker inside the first three minutes. He stayed down and was taken off on a stretcher.
Burkina Faso continued its early pressure as Jonathan Pitroipa made a surging run into the Sudanese penalty area and laid off a pass to Narcisse Yameogo, but his shot was deflected into the side netting.
Sudan rallied and Mohamed Al Tahir's free kick ricocheted off the Burkina Faso wall and went just wide.
Mudather pounced as he rode a poor challenge from last-man Mamadou Tall and then opened up his body to flick the ball past Diakite and into the far right corner.
Burkina Faso was again the more dangerous team in the early stages of the second half but kept wasting good chances.
Midfielder Pitroipa's classy back heel sent Ouedraogo clear in the 57th minute, but he dragged his right-footed shot off target when one-on-one with the keeper.
In a rare break, Ahmed Khalifa then flashed a shot across the goal line as Sudan searched for a goal that would dramatically change its fortunes at the African Cup of Nations.
But soon after news filtered through at Estadio de Bata that Ivory Coast had scored a second goal in Malabo to lead Angola 2-0 and Sudan was heading through to the quarterfinals for the first time in nearly half a century.
Almost straight after, Burkina Faso had a goal disallowed for offside as the Sudanese clung on to their narrow, crucial advantage.
Forward Mudather provided breathing space in the 80th minute with his second and even a late strike from the Burkinabes couldn't deny Sudan its historic moment.
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