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Hosts hold Burkina Faso to goalless draw

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Equatorial Guinea Randy

BATA, Equatorial Guinea, January 21 – Hosts Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso played out a goalless draw in Bata in Africa Cup of Nations Group A on Wednesday.

It was the first scoreless draw of the 2015 tournament and the host nation will have many reasons to thank goalkeeper Felipe Ovono, who several times kept out the marauding Stallions of Burkina Faso.

Equatorial Guinea now have two points from as many matches after they also drew 1-1 with Congo Brazzaville on the opening day of the competition.

Burkina Faso again failed to convert several chances just as was the case in their first match against Gabon on Saturday.

The Stallions, who now have one point from two matches, went on the attack from the kick-off, although it took them until the 17th minute to threaten when Jonathan Pitroipa forced a fine save from Ovono.

And a minute later, Alain Traore saw his free-kick from just outside the box come off the post with the Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper well beaten.

Burkina Faso continued to pile pressure on their opponents and in the 26th minute Diosdado Mbele was booked for a crunching foul on a goal-bound Pitroipa.

Aristide Bance then saw his powerful free-kick from the edge of the area blocked by the Nzalang Nacional ‘keeper, who then came to the rescue to turn an Alain Traore shot against the woodwork before also denying Bertrand Traore, the younger of the two brothers.

The hosts posed rather more of a threat in the second half, with Javier Balboa going on a brilliant solo run and setting up Ellong Viera, although he could only blaze his shot over the bar.

In the 62nd minute, Kike Boula shot straight at the Burkina Faso goalkeeper, before Bance forced Ovono to keep out a fierce shot at the other end of the pitch soon after.

Pitroipa flashed another effort wide of the mark, as a disappointing encounter fizzled out to a goalless conclusion.

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