Feb 23, 2012, 2:03 PM
Goals from Momodou Dagado, Charles Kaboure and Wilfred Sano were enough for the Stallions of Burkina Faso to climb to the top of Group F as they enjoyed an emphatic 3-1 win over The Gambia in Ouagadougou on Saturday en route to the African Nations cup finals in 2012.
The Scorpions of The Gambia, who enjoyed a four-day training camp in Belgium prior to the Burkina Faso encounter, were punished for what many called a terrible mistake by midfielder Azizi Corr Nyang who allowed Momodou Dagano to put his side ahead with only 17 minutes on the clock.
Aziz was forced to fight for a loose ball when he carelessly gave the ball away to his opponent but his effort to regain position could not help.
In the twinkle of an eye, the Stallions' powerful forward Dagano, who was substituted midway through the second period, twisted a close-range strike pass Pa Dembo Touray.
The hapless Gambian team were forced to fight for an equalizer which almost came through but a terrible miss by Sainey Nyassi in the 34th minute from a one-on-one situation dented the Scorpions? hope of celebrating what could have been a happy moment for coach Paul Put and his boys.
That unfortunate situation prompted Paul Put to make double substitutions which saw Momodou Ceesay and Abdoulie Mansally introduce to replace Ebrima Sonha and Aziz Corr Nyang during half time.
But the stars could not help the Gambian team from conceding what appeared to be a disappointing defeat for the Scorpions.
Moments later, Stallions of Burkina Faso added their second courtesy of a powerful long-range shot from Wilfred Sano, who had a fantastic game for the West African outfit, before Charles Kaboure added the third from a spectacular estimated 20-yard strike to complete the score.
The Gambia missed numerous scoring opportunities through Sainey Nyassi, Aziz Corr Nyang, Ousman Jallow and substitute Abdoulie Mansally.
They only managed a consolation courtesy of a sensational header by Momodou Ceesay but that was too late, too little for the West African side who trail Burkina Faso at the top of the standings on goal difference to overturn a 3-1 deficit.
The Scorpions who began the qualifying campaign with a convincing 3-1 win against Namibia in Banjul face a must-win situation when they travel to Namibia for the second leg of the qualifiers in September 2011.
Coach Paul Put and his men will wrap up the qualifying campaign when they host Burkina Faso for the final round of the qualifiers in the weekend of 7, 8 and 9 October 2011.
Should they collect nine points and Burkina Faso and Namibia fail to take advantage of their remaining matches,
the Scorpions might earn themselves a place in the African Nations cup finals in Gabon\Equatorial Guinea.
But whether the Scorpions, who continue to search for their first ever appearance in the continent?s biggest football showdown, can achieve the desired results in their remaining two fixtures, remains to be seen.
The team is expected to return to Banjul via Belgium today, according to information reaching Pointsports desk from Ouagadougou.
In the weekend of 25, 26 and 27 March 2011, Burkina Faso will host Namibia.
In May 2011, Namibia will host Burkina Faso before hosting The Gambia for the return-leg in September 2011.
Scorpions? final group F game will be against Burkina Faso in October in Banjul in the weekend of 7, 8 and 9 October in 2011.