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29th Jan 2022

Referee blows early as Burkina Faso shock Tunisia to progress to AFCON semi-finals

Another premature end to an AFCON game

Referee Joshua Bondo ended Burkina Faso’s quarter-final tie against Tunisia roughly 30 seconds early as the Stallions secured their progression into the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. 

Teenage attacker Dango Ouattara scored the only goal of the game before being sent off later in the fixture as Burkina Faso surprised Tunisia to progress to the next round. 

Ouattara did brilliantly to latch onto Blati Toure’s through-ball as he held off two defenders and cut inside before firing past the helpless Bechir Ben Said.

However, he was then sent off in the 82nd minute for an elbow on Ali Maaloul.

Ten-men Burkina Faso did fell to withstand Tunisia’s attacking threat in the final 10 minutes of the fixture, with Kamou Malo’s side making it to added-time as they were set to complete a famous victory. 

Despite this, the referee appeared to blow his whistle to signal the end of the game around 30 seconds early. However, he wasn’t met with much opposition from Tunisia’s players. 

It comes after Tunisia’s group stage match against Mali was marred by controversy after the referee blew the whistle 10 seconds early.

The Stallions – who have never won the tournament – will now meet the winner of Sunday’s game between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea.

But they will be without Ouattara, who is now suspended after his late dismissal – which came after Bondo’s second trip to the monitor for a video assistant referee check in quick succession.

Just minus earlier, Mondher Kebaier’s side were denied a penalty as Soumaila Ouattara caught Wahbi Khazri with a rash tackle in the penalty area after initially winning the ball.

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