Nelspruit, South Africa: Burkina Faso’s joy at reaching the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations was tempered on Thursday after leading scorer Alain Traore was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a thigh injury.
Traore left the field just 10 minutes into the 0-0 draw with Zambia in the final round of Group C games on Tuesday. He pulled a left thigh muscle, Burkina Faso’s team doctor said.
The Lorient forward scored three goals in the group stage to be the tournament’s leading scorer as Burkina Faso made the second round for just the second time, and the first since 1998.
But he was stretchered off early against Zambia and won’t be part of the quarter-final against Togo on Sunday.
“My Afcon tournament is finished,” Traore told the African Cup website on Thursday. “It has been a long wait for us to qualify for the quarter-finals after such a long time, but my injury has spoiled the enjoyment a little.”
Traore came to the African Cup after a month-long injury lay-off. He appeared as a substitute in Burkina Faso’s opening game against Nigeria and scored a late equaliser, then grabbed two goals in the 4-0 win over Ethiopia.
“Alain’s chances of continuing in this Nations Cup are minus 10 per cent,” team doctor Romaric Toe said. “He pulled a muscle in his left thigh and will undergo all the necessary examinations, but his competition, I would say, is over.”