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Chelsea sells Traore to Lyon for $11 million

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Chelsea has officially sold exciting attacker Betrand Traore to Lyon.

Traore, 21, spent last season on loan at Ajax, helping the club to the UEFA Europa League Final.

The 40-times capped Burkina Faso winger scored four goals in 16 appearances for Chelsea in 2015-16, and has 22 goals in loan seasons to Vitesse and Ajax.

[ MORE: Ranking expectations for PL bosses ]

The fee is said to be more than $11 million. Traore joined Chelsea’s academy in 2010 after coming up with Auxerre.

Chelsea will earn 15 percent of any future sale of Traore, and also have the right of first refusal should another team make an offer for the attacker.

Lyon currently has held onto Alexandre Lacazette, and has Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay and captain Maxime Gonalons amongst its stars. Adding Traore will only help the club’s ambitions in Ligue 1 as well as the Europa League.

Traore’s free-kick lifts Burkina Faso over Ghana in third-place match

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It doesn’t get any better than this!

Chances were far and few in Saturday’s African Cup of Nations third-place match but Alain Traore’s last-minute strike ensured Burkina Faso a bronze medal in their 1-0 win over Ghana.

The 28-year-old blasted a free-kick past goalkeeper Richard Ofori in the 89th minute to give Burkina Faso the advantage. Stunning strike.

The game’s first big chance happened in the 25th minute when Ghana forward Bernard Tekpetey hit woodwork from inside the penalty area. The 19-year-old Schalke striker made his international debut for the Black Stars in Ghana’s group play defeat against Egypt.

Ghana brought on a flurry of second-half substitutes to try and bolster the team’s attack, including the introductions of Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew, but the Black Stars finished the match with three shots on goal.

The battle for the this year’s AFCON title will take place on Sunday when Egypt and Cameroon do battle at the Stade de l’Amitié in Gabon.

El Hadary the hero, Salah scores beauty; Egypt advances to AFCON Final

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Burkina Faso finally found a way to beat Essam El Hadary, but the Egyptian goalkeeper got the last laugh.

The 44-year-old Egypt goalkeeper with 152 caps had not allowed a goal in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations before conceding in regulation of the 1-1 semifinal on Wednesday in Gabon.

But El Hadary snared Burkina Faso’s final penalty to give Egypt a 4-3 edge in penalty kicks.

Aristide Bance’s finish of a wonderful 73rd minute team goal for Burkina Faso sent the game to extra time after Mohamed Salah scored a gorgeous opener for Egypt in the 66th.

Here are both:

El Hadary has been on four AFCON winners for Egypt (1998, 2006, 2008, 2010) and could make it five if Egypt can win the final. The Pharoahs face the winner of Thursday’s semifinal between Ghana and Cameroon on Sunday in Libreville.

AFCON semis: Familiar faces vie for title spots

AP Photo/Sunday Alamba
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Four teams with recent experience in AFCON finals remain as the semifinals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations hit the stage Wednesday and Thursday.

The last two runners-up (Burkina Faso and Ghana) remain alive, as do a pair of nations who’ve won multiple tournaments in the 21st century.

[ MORE: The Chelsea file – What lies ahead ]

An odd fun fact: only one player in this year’s AFCON has more than two goals. It’s DR Congo star Junior Kabananga.

Burkina Faso vs. Egypt — 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday

Burkina Faso boss Paulo Duarte calls Jose Mourinho a “father figure”, and he’ll need some extraordinary tactics to slow down Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Elneny, and Egypt.

Actually, it’ll be even more about finding a way through the Egyptian back line, which is yet to allow a goal in the tournament. Granted Burkina Faso was in a final as recently as 2013, but Egypt will be expected to reach a fourth final since their 3-peat started with a title in 2006.

Cameroon vs. Ghana — 2 p.m. EDT Thursday

It’s hard to believe here in the United States, where Ghana has been a World Cup enemy of the United States, but the Black Stars have been snake bit in this competition.

Ghana has not won AFCON since 1982, reaching only two finals including the 2015 edition that ended 9-8 in penalties to the Ivory Coast. Cameroon is bidding to make its first final since 2008, having won the tournament in 2000 and 2002.

The winner of this one is 90 minutes away from breaking a tie, with each other, for the second-most AFCON crowns in history. Egypt leads the way with seven, while Cameroon and Ghana have four.

AFCON wrap: Cameroon edges Senegal on PKs, Burkina Faso advances

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While several of the tournament’s big boys have fallen out, two sides booked their tickets in the the African Cup of Nations semifinals on Saturday.

[ MORE: All AFCON 2017 coverage ]

Burkina Faso 2-0 Tunisia

The Stallions scored twice inside the final nine minutes to give Burkina Faso the first spot in the AFCON semifinals.

Aristide Bance and Prejuce Nakoulma scored in the 81st and 84th minutes, respectively to keep Burkina Faso unbeaten in its four matches at this winter’s competition in Gabon.

Bance gave the Stallions the advantage after finishing a free kick just minutes after coming onto the pitch, while Nakoulma doubled the lead three minutes later after a rebound fell to the attacker.

Paulo Duarte’s side will take on the winner of Egypt-Morocco, who will meet on Sunday.

Senegal 0-0 (4-5 on PKs) Cameroon

Both sides mustered up chances in the first 120 minutes of play, but ultimately penalty kicks were what decided the second semifinalist.

After both sides converted from the penalty spot in the opening  rounds, Sadio Mane‘s miss left the door open for Cameroon, who then took full advantage of the opportunity.

Cameroon keeper Joseph Ondoa made six saves on the day, including one in the shootout, to help give his nation a place in the next round.

The Lions will meet the winner of Congo-Ghana in the semifinals.

Sunday schedule

Congo vs. Ghana — 11 a.m. ET
Egypt vs. Morocco — 2 p.m. ET