Dango Ouattara scored on the stroke of halftime to ensure a 1-0 win for Burkina Faso over Tunisia in their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua, Cameroon, on Saturday.
Ouattara, 19, held off two defenders to drive the ball home from close range after a breakaway attack in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.
The striker, who later got sent off, was set on his way by a pass from inside his own half from Blati Toure as the Burkinabe played a clever counter-attacking game to advance to the last four of the tournament in Cameroon.
This is the third time Burkina Faso make it to the semi-finals in the last five editions of the continental championship – next they next take on the winners of Sunday’s quarter-final between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea.
Tunisia had the first chance of the opening half when Wahbi Khazri saw his free kick tipped over the top by Burkinabe goalkeeper Herve Koffi in the 27th minute but the cagey contest suddenly came alive just before the break.
Toure’s long pass was perfectly weighted for Ouattara to run on to but he lost momentum as the defence closed in on him, only to check his run, hold off two defenders and still hammer home his shot.
But Ouattara will miss the semi-final after an aerial challenge where he caught Tunisia substitute Ali Maaloul in the face with his elbow in the 82nd minute.
Earlier, hosts Cameroon advanced to the semi-finals with a 2-0 triumph over the Gambia.
Toko Ekambi headed in from a cross in the 50th minute and side-footed into the top of the net from another cross in the 57th to see the Indomitable Lions into the last four after the tournament’s first quarterfinal.
French-born Toko Ekambi now has five goals at the tournament, one behind Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar.
Cameroon will play the winner of the Egypt vs Morocco quarterfinal, scheduled to be played on Sunday.