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Stallions look to gallop into AFCON semifinals

Burkina Faso will look to gallop into the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations when they face Tunisia at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua on the evening of Saturday 29 January 2022, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Burkina Faso earned their place in the last eight with a hard-fought penalty shootout victory over Gabon – though it should have been an easier path for the Stallions, who led 1-0 against 10 men thanks to Bertrand Traore’s goal, but ended up having to take the game all the way to spot kicks before coming out on top.

“It was a crazy game and it was not easy to control our emotions,” Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo said. “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.”

Tunisia, meanwhile, 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.

It was a major turnaround in fortune for the North Africans, who had barely advanced from the group stage after losing two matches, and came into the clash against the Super Eagles with a raft of Covid-19 absences.

“As we said before, we had prepared well; we had mastered our skills to counter the Nigerian team. We believed in ourselves,” said Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier.

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“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.”

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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