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2022 Women’s Afcon: Senegal book spot in quarterfinals

A controversial late penalty handed Senegal a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in Group A at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals on Tuesday and ensured they are the first side through to the next phase of the tournament in Morocco.

Spanish-based midfielder Korka Fall tucked the ball away at the Prince Moulay Abdallah Stadium after a lengthy VAR check by the referee, who had originally awarded a spot-kick but was asked to review her decision which looked soft.

Tall teenage striker Habsatou Diallo, dropped from the starting line-up and brought on at half-time, was bumped off the ball by Burkina Faso defender Alimata Belem, but not fouled, and the penalty award looked harsh.

Fall’s 84th-minute conversion means Burkina Faso have now suffered two successive defeats and are in danger of an early departure home.

It was a second successive win for Senegal, playing in only their second Women’s Afcon, after they had beaten Togo 2-0 in their opening Group A match on Sunday.

With the top two teams in each of the three groups, plus the two best third-placed finishers, guaranteed quarterfinal berths, Senegal are now closer to a possible Women’s World Cup finals berth.

The top four at the tournament advance to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Senegal looked the more proficient of the two west African outfits but were unsettled by an aggressive approach by the Burkinabe, who had lost in Saturday’s opening game to the host nation.

Burkina Faso’s shooting was poor and they turned over possession far too regularly but still put up a spirited showing and were unlucky not to get a point.

Senegal were unable to create any clear-cut chances despite their highly-rated attack and after the confidence of their winning start.

But they now have the option to rest key players for their last group game against Morocco, although that decision will likely rest on the quarterfinal permutations.

 

 

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