EMF – The Burkina Faso national football team, nicknamed Les Etalons (The Stallions), will be making their ninth appearance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Today, at 1:00 PM ET The Stallions will face with Ethiopian Black Lions.
Burkinabes best finish was back in 1998 where they ended in fourth place during the tournament which they hosted; however, their recent performances have seen them failing to get past the group stage in five consecutive attempts between 2000 and 2012.
Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw has promised to make a number of changes but would not reveal names.
But he will definitely have to replace keeper Jemal Tassew, who is suspended after being sent off against Zambia.
Jemal will miss Friday’s game after being suspended for two matches, while Sewnet promised to make other changes in a bid to counter Burkina Faso’s physicality.
“We will try to play as many passes as possible because the Burkinabes are huge and physically very strong,” Sewnet said. “We will have a better team for the second game and use players with speed and good passing abilities.”
Burkina Faso coach Paul Put:
Understandably, their Belgium-born coach Paul Put was more enthusiastic about the result, claiming his players have put their country on the map.
“All four teams have one point so everything is open,” he said.
“The performance today showed who Burkina are. We have quality in the team.
“We were missing some key players so I am very proud of what we did. I was confident of getting a point against Nigeria.
“This was a very good result for us and I am looking forward to the second game against Ethiopia.”
The 56-year-old Belgian coach Paul said: “We have a lot of respect for the Ethiopian team. Any team that can draw with Zambia after playing against them with only 10 men after 30 minutes, that says a lot.
“They are physically very strong because they are used to playing and training at an altitude of 3,000 feet – it also means they will recuperate faster than us, but we will not make excuses.
“Tactically, we know their strengths – they like to play combinations of short one-twos. We know what we will face.
“We must try to read the game at the start and see how we will play. We will not be open in the beginning.”
The Burkinabe will be counting on star striker Moumouni Dagano, who currently plays for Al-Sailiya Sport Club in Qatar, and is the country’s top goal scorer of all time.
They also have a number of top players who play their trade in the Ligue 1 in France like FC Lorient forward Alain Traore, Stade Rennais midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa, as well as Lyon defender Bakary Kone, who will all be expected to bring their international experience to help the side reach the knockout stages in South Africa.
or audiences in the United States the game will be televised on ESPN3 beginning at 1 p.m Eastern and can be watched on the Internet and mobile devices.
In South Africa coach Sewnet Bishaw told the Associated Press that his team’s strategy is in place for today’s match. “We will try to play as many passes as possible because the Burkinabes are huge and physically very strong,” coach Sewnet said. “We will have a better team for the second game and use players with speed and good passing abilities.”