Burkina Faso assumed pole position in Group C at the Africa Cup of Nations after a convincing 4-0 win over Ethiopia on Friday.
Two goals either side of the break from Alain Traore put Burkina Faso in control, a third from Djakaridja Kone 10 minutes from the end sealed the win, and Jonathan Pitroipa completed the rout in stoppage time.
Burkina Faso will rue the sending off of goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama, who saw red on the hour mark for catching the ball just outside his area.
The win moved Burkina Faso to top spot in Group C on four points, two clear of both Zambia and Nigeria, who played out a 1-1 draw earlier on Friday.
Ethiopia are bottom of the pool with one point.
Ethiopia were full of running during the opening exchanges and took only four minutes to create the first goal scoring opportunity.
A well-worked move that stretched almost the entire length of the pitch provided a clear-cut chance for Shimeles Bekele, whose goal-bound shot flew past a hapless Soulama, but was stopped by the upright.
Burkina Faso began to find their feet, with Charles Kabore’s dangerous drive saved by Zerihun Tadele and Traore put the rebound in the back of the net but it was chalked off for offside.
Burkina Faso took the lead 10 minutes before the break.
A shot was cleared off the line by Tesfaye Seyoum, but it only went as far as Kabore, whose inventive flick found the unmarked Traore. The Lorient forward then thumped a fierce shot that found its way to the top left corner of Tadele’s net.
Ethiopia were the better of the two teams in the opening minutes of the second half yet again, but failed to carve out a meaningful chance.
They were presented with an opportunity to level matters at the hour mark following a moment of madness from Soulama.
The ‘keeper handled what seemed a harmless shot just outside the box forcing Seychelles referee Bernard Camille to give him his marching orders.
The west African bench then sacrificed Wilfried Sanou for reserve ‘keeper Diakate Daouda who then saved the resulting free kick.
Against the odds, however, 10-man Burkina Faso stretched their lead. A neat flick on by Pitroipa saw the ball fall to Traore who let fly a vicious volley into the Ethiopian net for his second goal of the match and his third goal in two games.
Five minutes later, the west Africans sealed the contest through Kone’s well-taken goal on the break that gave Tadele no chance.
Paul Put’s charges were not finished, however, and five minutes into injury time, Pitropia capped a memorable evening for the 1998 semi-finalists by sweeping home from close range shot after an inch-perfect cross by Kabore.