Horrible spot-kicks in the lottery that is the penalty shoot-out saw Ghana crash out of the 2013 African Cup of Nations as the Black Stars missed the mark three times to see Burkina Faso win 3-2 at the Mbombela stadium on Wednesday night after 120 minutes of action saw the game ended 1-1.
Ironically Mubarak Wakaso scored the first goal of the semifinal from penalty spot to give Ghana the lead before a second half goal from Aristide Bance levelled matters and in the end saw Burkina Faso into their first ever AFCON final.
The first 45 minutes saw Burkina Faso with the majority of the possession, but it was Ghana who looked the more threatening side when going forward.
In the seventh minute, though, the Black Stars suffered a massive set-back when they lost their right-back, John Panstil, who pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Solomon Asante.
Still, despite the reshuffling of the pack, Ghana did not let the disruption disturb their play and they earned a penalty five minutes later when the referee, perhaps harshly so, adjudged Mady Panandetiguiri to have pulled down Christian Atsu inside the box.
Mubarak Wakaso proceeded to step up and scored his third penalty of the tournament to give Ghana the lead in the semifinal, 1-0.
On the half hour mark Asamoah Gyan should really have doubled the Black Stars lead when a great through ball saw him with just has the keeper to beat, but Daouda Diakite produced a great one-on-one save to deny him.
Two minutes later and Prejuce Nakoulma had a great chance to level matters when he also found himself in a one-on-one situation with the Ghanaian keeper, but he wildly fired his shot over the crossbar from 16-yards out.
In the 38th minute some great work by Kwadwo Asamoah down the left flank saw him work his way into the box and play a nice pass to Asante from the by-line, but the substitute sent his effort from close range just wide as the half ended 1-0 in favour of Ghana.
The second 45 saw Burkina Faso doing all the pressing early on as they went in search of the equaliser and they came close in the 53rd minute.
Aristide Bance was left unmarked at a corner-kick, but he saw his powerful header from 12-yards out brilliantly saved by the Ghanaian keeper, using the underside of the post and his palm to avoid the goal being scored.
Five minutes later and Gyan was bitterly unlucky not to double his side’s lead when an early low cross from the right saw him strike the ball onto the right hand post from 14-yards out.
In the 60th minute Gyan was made to rue that miss as Burkina Faso did find an equaliser through Aristide Bance.
A mistake in defence by Ghana saw Bance through on goal after a sublime pass from Charles Kabore, and the tall striker made no mistake with just the keeper to beat as he produced a clinical finish to level matters, 1-1.
Neither side could go on to find the winner in regular time as the match moved into extra time.
As the players tired in the extra time the action swung from end to end, but the best chance fell the way of Bance in the 112th minute when he latched onto a loose ball in a goal mouth scramble, but he saw his ten-yard shot cleared of the goalline by Harrison Afful.
Burkina Faso then suffered a huge blow in the 117th minute as Pitroipa was shown his second yellow card for simulation and duly shown red, reducing his side to ten men.
Nonetheless, the game ended all square and we moved into the dreaded lottery penalty shoot-out.
Three missed penalties from Ghana saw Burkina Faso win 3-2 on penalties and into their first ever AFCON final.