Burkina Faso and Tunisia will battle it out for a place in the semi-finals of the 2021 African Cup of Nations on Saturday at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.
How the teams got here
After ending second in Group A behind Cameroon, Burkina Faso had to dig deep to come through their last 16 clashes against Gabon: The Stallions looked on course for victory, leading 1-0 against 10 men thanks to Bertrand Traore’s goal and Sidney Obissa’s red card, but they conceded a last-gasp equaliser and ultimately needed extra time and penalties to see off the challenge of the Panthers.
Tunisia, following a Group F campaign in which they lost to both Mali and Gambia but sneaked through to the last 16 on the back of a big win over Mauritania, then produced one of the shocks of the tournament when they defeated Nigeria 1-0 last weekend, thanks to a goal early in the second half from Youssef Msakni. The Carthage Eagles shrugged off their misfortune (including many Covid-19 absences) and put in a disciplined and cohesive showing against the West African heavyweights.
Burkina Faso – Bertrand Traore
The Aston Villa attacker scored the Stallions’ goal against Gabon – and really should have found the net several more times given the chances he enjoyed. Nonetheless, his pace, movement and physicality bring so much to Burkina Faso’s forward play.
Tunisia – Seifeddine Jaziri
The Carthage Eagles striker has only scored once thus far, but his tireless work upfront has been key in helping his team reach the quarterfinals. He was outstanding in the victory over Nigeria and will be expected to put in another great shift against the Stallions.
What the camps are saying
Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier on their surprise triumph over Nigeria:
“As we said before, we had prepared well; we had mastered our skills to counter the Nigerian team. We believed in ourselves. We had the desire to win and knew we had to put in a lot of effort. We tried to win to score a goal and succeeded in doing that. We trusted the group despite the Covid cases. We didn’t need players but competitors.”
Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo on their penalty shootout win over Gabon:
“It was a crazy game and it was not easy to control our emotions. We had chances to kill the tie earlier, but that’s football. It could have gone either way, but we are delighted with the outcome.”
In head-to-head stats, Tunisia and Burkina Faso have met in six previous matches, dating back as far as 1995. The Stallions have claimed three wins compared to one for the Carthage Eagles, while two games have been drawn.
The teams last met in the quarterfinals of the 2017 AFCON in Gabon, with Burkina Faso winning 2-0 thanks to late goals from Aristide Bance and Prejuce Nakoulma.
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Quarterfinal broadcast details, 29 January 2022
Saturday 29 January
21:00: Burkina Faso v Tunisia – LIVE on SuperSport AFCON, SuperSport Maximo 2, SuperSport Maximo 360 and SuperSport GOtv Select 2