Zimbabwe have snatched their ticket to the quarterfinals of the 2014 African Nations Championship after defeating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the Group B’s last match played at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Monday.
After a goalless first half, Masimba Mambare put Zimbabwe ahead early into the second half which would stand unanswered until the final whistle.
Both teams were third and fourth placed in Group B coming into this encounter, with Zimbabwe slightly ahead with two points while Burkina Faso had just one.
The Warriors began with a stronger determination and had the game’s first clear chance with an exciting free kick on the edge of the Stallions box, but Kuda Mahachi’s on-target strike was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Mohamed Kabore.
Zimbabwe enjoyed possession across the half hour mark but in between nervy defending and good goalkeeping from Burkina Faso, the Southern Africans failed to find any breakthrough as the Stallions began to take matters in their hands.
Bassirou Ouedraogo got on the end of a deep cross near Zimbabwe box and unleashed his finish but it flashed narrowly off the far post.
Issouf Kabore had another good chance for Burkina Faso near the box but he was quickly knocked down before he could compose himself to fire. The ensuing free kick was parried by the Warriors goalkeeper Chigova, ending the first half in a goalless stalemate.
Zimbabwe came back from the break ruling the session like early in the first half, and after a couple of near misses Masimba Mambare opened the scoring after beating Burkina Faso keeper inside the box to head home an air ball.
Peter Moyo grabbed another chance for Zimbabwe but his beautiful volley went over the bar, as the opposing side struggled to avoid more havoc in the last quarter of the clash.
A great save from Kabore ended the meeting at the Athlone Stadium, with Zimbabwe finishing second in Group B and progressing to the knockout stage while Burkina Faso crash out.