Right-oh. That's all from me here, but you can follow my pithily titled Premier League Championship League One League Two and SPL Clockwatch on the Guardian football website in about 20 minutes time. Thanks for your time, tweets and emails, particularly if your name is Jonathan Wilson, a man I believe is currently being enveloped by a swarm of moths.
Peep! Peep! Peeeeep! It's all over. The holders Zambia just weren't good enough and are out of the tournament. Burkina Faso advance to the last eight as group winners and will find out their opponents - Togo or Tunisia - in the next round tomorrow. In Group C's other match this evening, Nigeria have beaten Ethiopia 2-0 and earned themselves a quarter-final against Ivory Coast.
89 min: Burkina Faso defender Bakary Kone ships a blow to his nose, which proceeds to start pumping blood. That's going to hurt like all hell later on. His side make another substitution, with midfielder Abdou Razack replacing striker Jonathan Pritroira.
88 min: Apologies for the delay in transmission, but it;'s all going on in the other match between Nigeria and Ethiopa. The Ethiopian goalkeeper's been sent off and replaced by an outfield player. Victor Moses, who was hacked down, scores from the spot again to put Nigeria two up. Zambia the holders are going out.
81 min: "I wasn't upset because you'd mentioned it before," writes Moses Muchapirei. "I got the feeling that you're playing up the condition of the pitch in a patronising 'These Africans can't even get proper pitches for their flagship tournament' way. I live in South Africa and just for the record that pitch stands out as the only bad surface at this tournament. But I have seen worse at some top Premier League grounds in the winter months. I am just responding to how your tone came across."
How my tone came across? Apologising for repeatedly pointing out that the pitch is atrocious. In your desperation to be offended, you seem to have overlooked the fact that I also published an explanation, provided by Jonathan Wilson, that the reason it is in this poor state is because it has been ravaged by a fungal growth. The point being, there's really nothing that anyone could have done about it. Anyway, we won't fall out over it, but please don't blame your misinterpretation of my 'tone' for any persecution complex you might be suffering from.
79 min: Zambia substitution: Chiasamba Lungu off, Jonas Sakuwaha on. At the risk of boring certain readers, I feel compelled to let you know he's a winger who plays his club football for the Sudanese club Al-Merreikh.
78 min: Victor Moses scores from the spot to put Nigeria one up against Ethiopia. This is big news - unless Zambia win this match they'll be out of the tournament.
77 min: Burkina Faso win a corner, but the delivery is poor. Kennedy Mweene gathers comfortably. In the other Group C game, Nigeria have won a penalty on the back of a trip on Chelsea's Victor Moses ...
75 min: Zambia win a free-kick from deep, out by the right touchline for a cynical Saidou Panandetiguera tug on Chiasamba Lungu. The ball's sent into the mixer, where the excellent Bakary Kone once again heads clear.
73 min: Before taking the goal-kick, Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite has to get treatment for a thigh injury which he appeared to sustain after falling while unsuccessfully trying to claim the preceding high ball. After having his thigh sprayed, he takes his kick-out, which lands with a thunk in the middle of the pitch and [If your name's Moses Muchapirei look away now] stops dead in the sand.
69 min: I should really just pack up now, because heaven forbid that I should risk upsetting Moses Muchapirei by wasting his time by mentioning a player I've name-checked previously in this report. Zambia win a corner, which they take short. The ball's curled into the penalty area but it's too high for Collins Mbesuma and goes out for a goal-kick.
68 min: "We get it Barry," writes Moses Muchapirei. "There is no grass on the pitch. You made your point."
66 min: Elsewhere in Group C, Nigeria have just had a decent headed effort from a corner, cleared off the line. As things stand, they are going out.
65 min: Emmanuel Mayuka finds himself the centre of attention again, trying to dribble and jink his way past three Burkina Faso defenders from the right-hand side. His efffort is foiled and Mbola hoofs clear.
62 min: For Zambia, Emmanuel Mayuka chases a through-ball down the inside right channel and frantically tries to get a cross in before the ball rolls out of play. He loses the chase and succeeds only in kicking up a mini-tsunami of sand. That's just downright dangerous - the poor sod could have broken his ankle.
61 min: Zambia go forward again, down the left wing. Rainsford Kalaba sends in a cross that's cleared by Bakary Kone.
58 min: Zambia squander another great chance. Emmanul Mayuka gets a powerful header on a Rainford Kalaba cross, but sends the ball over the cross-bar from about 10 yards out.
55 min: Zambia's Collins Mbesuma goes on a powerful run up the left flank, but is dispossessed. His team-mate, the substitute Mukaku Malenga, tries to pick up the pieces but the ball bobbles out of play as he attempts to take it around the right-back Mohamed Koffi. This is hideously bad, but it would be unfair to lay too much of the blame for that on the players. Zambia have been poor, though, even though they should be ahead considering the chances they've squandered.
Zambia substitution: Midfielder Isaac Chasa off, the more attacking Mukaku Mulenga on.
52 min: Zambia forward Mayuka plods through the deep sands of the left wing and sends in a low, hard cross, but Bakary Kone hacks clear. As things stand, Zambia definitely go through at Nigeria's expense, but should one of their players pick up a yellow card, the teams will draw lots.
Burkjina Faso substitution: Wilfrid Hamed Da-Hugues on for Wilfried Balima. Apologies for my tardiness, but he's wearing somebody else's name and number on his shirt. It is him, though. Jonathan Wilson told me, so it must be true. God bless whoever's in charge of admin at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Second half: We're back underway and Burkina Faso start as they left off, dominating: Aristide Bance rifles another free-kick into the wall, then one of his team-mates (sorry, I didn't see who) shoots high wide and handsome while trying to put his foot through a bouncing ball from distance. Wilfried Balima has been withdrawn at half-time and I'll bring you news of his replacement as soon as I know his identity.
Confirmation from somebody who knows his onions ...
A patronising tweet from Jonathan Wilson
Half-time: After an incredibly scrappy first half, the teams go in all square, although Burkina Faso's congregate for a quick huddle or pray before sallying forth to the dressing room. Elsewhere in Group C, it's scoreless between Nigeria and Ethopia. As things stand, Burkina Faso would advance to the quarter-finals, where they would be joined by whoever has the better disciplinary record of Nigeria and Zambia.
45 min: Zambia winger Rainsford Kalaba steals in at the far post to head weakly into the breadbasket off goalkeeper Diakite. The cross had come in from the left, the Burkinabe defence ignored it and let it bounce and it seems like the Zambian was caught by surprise by the gilt-edged opportunity that came his way. They're being outplayed, but the defending champions have had the two best chances of the half.
43 min: Burkina Faso goalkeeper Daouda Diakite is forced off his line to come and collect a Florent Rouamba cross into the penalty area from deep.
41 min: Substitutions, bookings, one goal chance, a couple of throw-ins and no corners that I can remember on this awful pitch. Imagine lots of garishly dressed, good looking athletes gadding about in the middle third of a beach volleyball court (a beach volleyball match, in other words) but using their feet instead of their hands and you'll have a very good idea what's going on at this match.
37 min: Zambia's Joseph Musonda is very, very lucky to escape his second yellow card for a late challenge. Moments previously, his team-mate Emmanuel Mayuka was booked for simulation, somewhat harshly in my opinion, after being tripped by Burkina Faso's Paul Koulalibaly. This is really scrappy.
36 min: Burkina Faso have been the better team so far, without creating any chances of note. They're certainly not happy to sit back and play for the draw and go forward again with purpose.
35 min: "This match sounds as droll and unexciting as the other match in the group, Nigeria v Ethiopia, which I've chosen to watch instead," writes Mustapha Garba. "A lot of Arsenal-like play from the Super Eagles, lots of possession with few chances crafted. Personally worrying, as Nigeria have also exhibited that other great Arsenal cliche of tailing off towards the end of matches and conceding late goals."
33 min: Burkina Faso striker Jonathan Pitroipa tries a shot from distance, but is undone by another comedy bobble from the terrible pitch.
32 min: Zambia substitute Joseph Musonda, who was won over 100 caps playing for his country, picks up the first booking of the game for a wild leap into Florent Rouamba, who was in mid air.
29 min: Approaching the half-hour mark and the only decent chance of the game thus far has fallen to Zambia. Burkina Faso, for whom a draw will do just fine, are doing well. It's scoreless in the other Group C match between Nigeria and Ethiopia. We could really do with a goal in either game.
28 min: "The pitch is awful because of unusually heavy rain that has forced the closure of many of the roads in nearby Kruger national park (the black and white seats at the stadium reflect zebra stripes while the buttresses on the stands resemble giraffes)," writes Jonathan Wilson from the ground. "Apparently it caused a fungal growth that killed large patches of grass. Some fan has brought an air-raid siren. At least I hope it's a fan."
26 min: For Burkina Faso, an off balance Charles Kabore miscontrols a shot as he attempts to volley a dropping ball goalwards. His effort goes high and wide.
25 min: Burkina Faso win a free-kick, which the substitute Aristide Blance wastes by driving the ball into the wall.
23 min: It's difficult to stress just how terrible the pitch this match is being played on is, so I'll try to do it through the medium of modern dance. OK, I won't. It's more like a beach than a field, the ball is bobbling all over the place and its bounce is erratic to say the least. I expect that running around ankle deep in sand will sap the energy of the players sooner rather than later too. It's just not good enough for such an important competition, really.
21 min: "Can't beat a clockwatch double header," writes Ryan Dunne. "It's like having two hot dates in the one day (er, one would imagine). Re: hipsters v pundits - I'm not on Twitter, but the concept surely (in most cases) suggests a response of 'a plague on both their houses!' or, to quote the tagline from those dreadful Alien Vs Predators movies: 'whoever wins - we lose'."
16 min: A poor clearance from the Burkinabe enables an as yet Chiasamba Lungu to square the ball low and hard across the edge of the Burkina Faso penalty area. Emmanuel Mayuka dummies and the ball bobbles its way towards Collins Mbesuma, who shoots straight at Daouda Diakite in the Burkinabe goal, when he really should have done a lot better.
13 min: There's another break in play as Zambia's Davies Nkagu goes down injured and signals to the bench. He looks utterly distraught and covers his face with his shirt; it seems his match is also over. I don't think it's the pitch that's causing these injuries, although it probably isn't helping. Nkausu took a knock on his instep earlier and may well have broken a metatarsal. He's replaced by the 35-year-old Joseph Musonda, who plays his club football for Lamontville Golden Arrows in South Africa.
11 min: As the unfortunate Traore is carried back to the dressing room on a stretcher with his hands over his face and an ice-pack over his left thigh, he is replaced by Aristide Bance, who plays for FC Augsburg.
8 min: Traore is loaded on to a stretcher and carried to the sideline for treatment and the match continues. He was already wearing Kinesio tape on the presumably already injured thigh he seems to have aggravated, but it doesn't seem to have worked.
6 min: Tournament top-scorer and Burkina Faso striker Alain Traore signals to the bench that he needs medical attention. He went down holding his thigh without anyone around him and it looks like his match and perhaps tournament might be over. This could be a huge blow for Burkina Faso.
4 min: The pitch here looks atrocious: covered in sand, which sprays everywhere whenever a player goes to ground.Emmanuel Mayuka sends in a cross from the right for Zambia, which is headed clear by Burkina Faso central defender Bakary Kone.
The tennis on Eurosport is over ...
So I'm cautiously optimistic that I may actually be able to bring you some coverage of the match any second now. Ah, here we go, with less than two minutes played, it's still scoreless. Zambia play in an all orange strip with green numbers in trim. Burkina Faso wear green shorts, shirts and socks with white numbers and flecks of red. Feel free to send in your emails about the Africa Cup of Nations or anything else, particularly the ongoing hipster v pundit war started on TalkSPORT radio by Stan Collymore last night (see Twitter for details).
While you're waiting for kick-off ...
You could do a lot worse than read this fresh-from-the-oven column written by Mr Wilson on how Mali's Seydou Keita has hailed the 'priceless hope' brought to a crisis-torn land. And if you like Jonathan's way with words, you can by some of his fancy books about upside-down pyramids, goalkeepers, Brian Clough and other stuff by clicking on this link and going on a virtual trolley dash.
Zambia: 16-Kennedy Mweene; 6-Davies Nkausu, 13-Stopilla Sunzu, 5-Hichani Himoonde, 18-Emmanuel Mbola; 3-Chisamba Lungu, 8-Isaac Chansa, 19-Nathan Sinkala, 17-Rainford Kalaba; 9-Collins Mbesuma, 20-Emmanuel Mayuka
Burkina Faso: 1-Daouda Diakite; 5-Mohamed Koffi, 4-Bakary Kone, 8-Paul Koulibaly, 12-Mady Panandetiguiri; 6-Djakaridja Kone, 18-Charles Kabore, 7-Florent Rouamba, 11-Jonathan Pitroipa; 12-Alain Traore, 14-Wilfried Balima
Referee: Alioum (Cameroon)
Big news from Jonathan Wilson ...
Although Wilson doesn't know whether the BBC's African Player of the Year is injured or not, he suspects that he may have been dropped due to a poor run of recent form. I'll bring you the rest of the team news and both line-ups just as soon as I have them.
Good afternoon everybody and welcome to this afternoon's Group C Africa Cup of Nations ding-dong between table-toppers Burkina Faso and third place Zambia at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, on a pitch that's likely to be sand-saturated and largely grass free.
With second place Nigeria taking on Ethiopia at the at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium at the same time, needing a win to guarantee their progress to the quarter-finals, holders Zambia need to beat Burkino Faso if they are to join South Africa, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali and Ivory Coast in the last eight and avoid the stress of having to worry about the result Rustenburg going their way. Ethiopa can also qualify, but will need to beat Nigeria by a hatful to maintain their cigarette paper-slim hopes of making the knockout stages.
The must-win(ish) nature of today's match is less than ideal for Zambia, whose recipe for success is a mixture of superstition (manager Herve Renard's lucky white shirt) and the calm pragmatism that served them so well last year. However, according to Jonathan Wilson, who is at this match, while the shirt is still working its magic, Zambia have looked far less assured in defence this year, a state of affairs that may not improve in a game where they find themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to go on the front foot against a lightning fast, free-scoring side.
With the goals of tournament top-scorer Alain Traore having catapulted Burkina Faso into the box-seat of Group C,, a draw this afternoon will seal their passage to the quarter-finals. A draw might also suffice for Zambia, but only if Nigeria and Ethiopia play out a lower scoring draw.
Should both games finish drawn with the same scoreline, fair play will dictate who proceeds. Zambia currently have the edge on that particular front, but it is obviously a situation that could change in the next couple of hours.