The defending champions of the Africa Cup of Nations have been eliminated in the group stage.
Zambia, the defending champions of the Africa Cup of Nations, have been knocked out of the tournament in the group stage. They entered their final Group C match knowing that they needed either a win or some help to progress to the next round, and they got neither. Nigeria won the other match on Wednesday, while Zambia failed to create chances in a 0-0 draw. Burkina Faso are through in first place, ahead of Nigeria on goal differential.
Hervé Renard made the controversial decision to leave out Zambia captain Christopher Katongo, opting for a strikeforce of Emmanuel Mayuka and Collins Mbesuma. While the move was understandable given the form of the three, it didn't pay off.
In the 11th minute, one of Burkina Faso's key attackers, Alain Traore, was forced to come out of the game with an injury. Because a draw all but guaranteed not only progression, but first place in Group C, Burkina Faso made the understandable decision to play defensively and attack primarily on the counter for the remainder of the game without their star attacker.
Zambia threw bodies forward in the closing minutes, following Nigeria's go-ahead goal, but they never came close to scoring. Burkina Faso defended well, and got the 0-0 draw they set out for after Traore's exit.