FRANCEVILLE, Gabon – Guinea revived its quarterfinal hopes at the African Cup of Nations as it thrashed 10-man Botswana 6-1 in Group D on Saturday.
Abdoul Razzagui Camara set up two goals for striker Sadio Diallo and scored one himself to put Guinea 3-1 ahead at Stade Franceville by the time Botswana’s Patrick Motsepe was shown a straight red card just before halftime. Ibrahima Traore scored direct from the free kick to make it 4-1 at the break.
Guinea surged forward against the 10 men in the second half and eventually added two more in the last 10 minutes through Mamadou Dioulde Bah and Naby Soumah for the most one-sided result of the African Cup so far.
Botswana had briefly celebrated Dipsy Selolwane’s 23rd-minute penalty, which made it 1-1, but conceded five unanswered goals to be effectively eliminated.
Guinea stayed in contention for the quarterfinals and its progression at the tournament will depend on its final group game against title contender Ghana.
“We had to impose our way of playing and today the mission was done,” Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer said. “Against Ghana it will be like a final.”
Guinea unsurprisingly outclassed Botswana’s semiprofessionals, whose already slim chance of an upset disappeared when Motsepe saw red for a studs-up challenge on Pascal Feindouno in the 47th minute.
Botswana had rallied from Diallo’s first goal when Guinea goalkeeper Naby Yattara clipped Jerome Ramatlhakwane in the area after struggling to reach a poor back pass from Bobo Balde.
Yattara dived to save Selolwane’s first spot kick in the bottom left corner, only for Moroccan referee Bouchaib Al Ahrach to ask for it to be retaken.
Selolwane learnt the lesson and went to the top right corner for Botswana’s first goal at the African Cup of Nations. It was a brief high for the southern African first-timers.
The outstanding Camara sent a second low cross in from the left wing for Diallo to latch onto four minutes later and then broke himself from a quick free kick and fired inside Modiri Marumo’s near post for 3-1.
Traore’s clever low curling shot from the set-piece after Motsepe’s red card went in off the left post on halftime for a dominant lead for the Guineans.
Feindouno was denied a goal midway through the second half when his effort bounced down off the crossbar and appeared to go over the goal line. Striker Ismael Bangoura badly missed as he turned, unmarked, and his shot grazed the left post.
In the 82nd, Bangoura’s deflected chance looped up and hit the top of the crossbar as the forward still couldn’t convert any of his clear chances.
But Bah scored from long range in the 84th when his goal-bound effort deflected off a Botswana defender and wrong-footed Marumo. Soumah capped Guinea’s complete superiority soon after with a low finish into the far corner from a tight angle.
“We have to accept this and continue with our mission,” Botswana coach Stanley Tshosane said. “We are a small nation, it’s not an excuse, with limited professional players compared to other teams here.”
Botswana: Modiri Marumo, Ndiyapo Letsholathebe, Mmusa Ohilwe, Mompati Thuma, Ofentse Nato (Patrick Motsepe, 38), Pontsho Moloi (Boitumelo Mafoko, 45), Phenyo Mongala (Mogakolodi Ngele, 72), Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Dipsy Selolwane, Mogogi Gabonamong, Tshepo Motlhabankwe.
Guinea: Moussa Yattara, Pascal Feindouno (Ibrahima Conte, 64), Mamadou Dioulde Bah, Bobo Balde, Kamil Zayatte, Abdoul Razzagui Camara, Ibrahima Traore, Sadio Diallo (Naby Soumah, 80), Ismael Bangoura, Thierno Bah, Ibrahima Diallo.