Burkina Faso have qualified for next year’s Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after a barren draw against Uganda in Kampala on Wednesday saw them retain top spot in Group B.
The Stallions are on nine points, one ahead of Uganda and two ahead of Malawi with the two sides playing against each other in their final group day match next week. Malawi’s Flames have meanwhile re-ignited their hopes of qualifying to after a slim 1-0 away victory over South Sudan in Khartoum.
Richard Mbulu scored the lone goal two minutes after the break to take Malawi to seven points, two behind leaders Burkina Faso who picked off a point in a 0-0 draw with Uganda in Kampala.
The Malawians will be playing second placed Uganda at home in their final match in what promises to be a cracker of a final game. South Sudan meanwhile have seen their journey to attempt a first ever qualification come to an end as they are bottom of the table with just three points.
In Kampala, Uganda would have dipped one foot into Cameroon had they picked up a point at home, but they were frustrated by a resolute Burkina Faso side who were determined to pick at least a point off the game.
The Ugandans had the chances infront of goal with Faruk Miya forcing a smart low save from the Burkina Faso keeper with a shot from the edge of the box.
The Burkinabes had a chance in the 26th minute when Bertrand Traore broke into the box from the left, but Halid Lwaliwa pulled a brilliant last gasp tackle to block the ball as the Aston Villa forward prepared to pull the trigger.
Two minutes to the break, the visitors had another good chance at goal when skipper Charles Kabore released a brilliant volley from outside the area but it skied inches over the bar.
In the second half, it was the Ugandans who piled the pressure, seeking just that one goal to put them into the game.
They came closest in the 69th minute but Lwaliwa’s stinging header off a Miya corner came cracking under the upright. A minute later, they had another chance when Joseph Ochaya picked up the ball on the left, pulling the trigger on the volley but keeper Kofi Herve produced a great save to deny him.
He picked up the ball on the second bite of the cherry, but his first touch off the chest let him down.
Uganda continued to pressure the visitors and Miya should have hit the net with seven minutes remaining when a cross was floated behind the defense, but his connection on the volley didn’t gather enough power, keeper Herve saving.
In the 89th minute, Fahad Bayo was presented with a great opportunity when a cross from the right found him unmarked inside the box, but he headed over.