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Jan 29, 2013

Defending champ Zambia heads home

NELSPRUIT, South Africa -- Defending champion Zambia crashed out of the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday after being held to a 0-0 draw by Burkina Faso, which advanced to the quarterfinals.

With Nigeria beating Ethiopia 2-0 in Rustenburg to advance, a third successive draw was not enough for Zambia to progress.

Burkina Faso sailed through at Zambia's expense, reaching the second round for the first time since it hosted the tournament in 1998 and finishing top of Group C on goal difference.

In a game that was low on quality, Zambia striker Collins Mbesuma missed clear-cut chances either side of the break.

For its part, Burkina Faso was content to flood the midfield and slow down a game that was already held up by a sandy pitch.

Striker Victor Moses converted two late penalties to lead Nigeria to a 2-0 win over Ethiopia and a spot in the quarterfinals.

Moses scored in the 80th and 90th minutes, sparing his team elimination from the competition with a scoreless draw at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Ethiopia, in its first tournament appearance in more than 30 years, finished bottom of Group C.

Moses was twice fouled inside the area to win the penalties, and then kept his cool to find the net both times for the two-time African champions.

Meanwhile, Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi said he expects key player Youssef Msakni to recover from a bronchial infection in time to face Togo in Wednesday's crucial African Cup of Nations game at the Mbombela Stadium.

Msakni did not take part in training with the rest of the Tunisia squad on Monday, but Trabelsi said Tuesday that the midfielder will be healthy enough to join his teammates for a later session.

The 22-year-old prodigy, who plays for Lekhwiya in Qatar, scored a late winner to give Tunisia a 1-0 victory over Algeria in its opening game.

Tunisia has three points but trails Togo on goal difference in Group D, meaning only victory on Wednesday will see the Tunisians progress to the quarterfinals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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