Burkina Faso got off to an impressive start and looked completely in control early on, as Gabon struggled to find their footing and had issues slowing their opponents down. In fact, the ‘Les Étalons’ had a golden chance to break the deadlock in the 18th minute when the referee called a penalty following a foul by Sidney Obissa inside the box, but Bertrand Traoré smashed his shot against the post. However, the former Ajax star would make amends just ten minutes later when he opened the scoring for his side with a superb shot from outside the box. Gabon, who had major problems up-front without the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina, had just one chance to equalise, but a goal in the 42nd minute by Aaron Boupendza was chalked off for offside to ensure Burkina Faso took their 1-0 lead to HT.
Gabon made three substitutions in the opening five minutes of the second half as they attempted to spark things up, but they still were unable to muster many dangerous situations. To make things even more complicated, Gabon captain Obissa was sent off midway through the half after bringing down Bertrand Traore when the star forward was charging through on goal. Despite the fact they were down to 10 men, to their credit Gabon kept attacking but their clear lack of ideas left their endeavours fruitless. Despite Gabon’s struggles and the extra man, Burkina Faso failed to capitalise on their chances on the counter and wasted at least three clear scoring chances to bolster their lead. They would pay a steep price for that lack of finishing, when an own goal by Adama Guira following a corner kick in stoppage-time stunned ‘The Stallions’ to force extra-time and the prospect of a penalty shootout.
The fact that Burkina Faso had an extra player for extra-time was noticeable as Gabon began to show tired legs and ‘The Stallions’ were dominant. They could have taken the lead in the 101st minute, but Edmond Tapsoba’s goal was ruled out due to a previous offside. The Bayer Leverkusen defender also had the best chance in the second half of extra-time, but he couldn’t latch on to a cross from the right flank. Gabon were forced to operate more defensively due to their lack of ideas and tired legs, so it was a surprise to see Burkina Faso fail to take care of business after 120 minutes and take it to a penalty shootout.
It was a thrilling shootout that saw each team take nine penalties, but in the end it was Lloyd Palun who missed for Gabon to set the stage for Ishmaila Ouedraogo who duly scored the winner for Burkina Faso to set up a quarterfinal with either Tunisia or Nigeria.