AFCON 2017: Burkina Faso claims third place as Ghanaian misery endures

    It was late but great for Burkina Faso as a powerful freekick from Alain Traore stole the win -- and third place -- right at the death.

    Story highlights

    • Ghana 0-1 Burkina Faso
    • Stallions seal third place at AFCON 2017

    (CNN)If the third-place playoff occupies a somewhat unusual position in modern football -- arguably the game no team wants to play -- it has become all too familiar territory for Ghana.

    Eight times the Black Stars have reached the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations since their last triumph in 1982; eight times they have fallen short of adding the fifth AFCON crown they crave.
      "I am more than unhappy," bemoaned Ghana coach Avram Grant after his side's hopes were crushed by a shock 2-0 semifinal defeat to Cameroon.
      Admitting it was "not exactly the dream of our lives to play this game," Grant's team selection for Saturday's third-place playoff was perhaps reflective of that disappointment -- he made seven changes.
      In contrast, Paulo Duarte's Burkina Faso, who had enjoyed an extra day's rest, looked eager to overcome their penalty shootout defeat to Egypt and played with the sort of fluency that saw them progress all the way to the final in 2013.