Champions Zambia knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations


Defending champions Zambia crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations after a draw with Burkina Faso, who advanced to the quarter-finals. Nigeria also went through to the last eight after a 2-0 win over Ethiopia in the other Group C game. Zambia had a poor game against Burkina Faso but they will rue weak efforts from Collins Mbesuma and Rainford Kalaba. It is the first time the reigning champions have gone out in the group stage since Algeria in 1990, when the competition format consisted in four groups of three teams.

Zambia didn't really deserve more than they got even though they leave the tournament unbeaten after three draws. Burkina Faso have shown good moments of football, especially in their 4-0 demolition of Ethiopia, and finished top of the group on goal difference.

The tournament's top scorer Alain Traore went off injured after only 12 minutes,quite a setback for Burkina Faso, who switched to defensive tactics immediately. Then Zambia had a casualty of their own minutes later as Davies Nkausu had to limp off the pitch. Zambia had two chances to take the lead in the first half but squandered them both through Collins Mbesuma and Rainford Kalaba.

The second half was even more boring, just one chance for Zambia on a corner kick that Mbesuma headed well wide. Burkina Faso nearly made the upset complete later on when Jonathan Pitroipa came close following a low cross from the right flank.

The last team to qualify for the quarter finals will be decided today as Togo face Tunisia in the final Group D match. Togo need at least a draw to go through, here are the odds for the match from Bet365:

Togo win - 11/5
Draw - 11/5
Tunisia win - 13/10

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