Burkina Faso - Togo Preview: The Hawks and Stallions hungry for Afcon semi-final spot
In another west African derby at the quarter-final stage of the Afcon, the Hawks are determined to build on their recent feat while the Stallions hope to better their 1998 record
By Edmund Okai Gyimah
Bossou, Nibombe, Akakpo, Mamah
Djene, Amewou, Wome, Ayite
Kone, Koulibally, Pananteguirui, K Sanou
Kabore, D. Kone, Pitroipa,
The Hawks of Togo will battle it out with the Stallions of Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit as both countries eye a semi-final berth in the ongoing 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
These two west African countries have laboured in the history of the tournament with Burkina Faso's best being their fourth-place finish on home soil in 1998, and they held the record for the country with the longest run in the tournament (17 games) without a win until they broke that jinx against Ethiopia with an emphatic 4-0 victory.
Togo on the other hand are in the quarter-final of the tournament for the first time in seven appearances and this crunch encounter promises fireworks.
This is the first time they are locking horns in the history of the tournament despite the fact that they were billed to face each other in Group B of the 2010 edition in Angola, but the Togolese withdrew after gunmen attacked their team bus in Cabinda, an incident which saw three of their staff losing their lives, while a number of players were injured.
As far as this tournament is concerned, both countries have served fans and spectators with delightful attacking football characterised by numerous quick counter-attacks, however, the side which will prove resolute at the back will likely produce the victory. Burkina Faso, who have conceded just one goal look very solid in defence with the likes of Olympique Lyonnais centre-back Bakary Kone, Saidou Panantedegurui, Paul Koulibally and Mohammed Koffi steering the ship at the back.
They are yet to face a team with a well drilled attacking force like Togo. The men between the sticks will be crucial in the game with Togo's shot-stopper Kossi Agassa, who is arguably the best in the tournament and his opposite number Soulama Abdoulaye, who was superb in the first game against Nigeria.
Serge Gakpe, Dove Wome and skipper Adebayor will be the key men to lead the Hawks to fly high while the presence of Jonathan Pitroipa, Charles Kabore and Djakaridja Kone will be crucial if the Stallions are to make it to the semis for the second time in their history.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Togo have not lost to Burkina Faso in their last four games dating back to 1999.
The all-time record between the two sides are as follows: played 19, Togo won nine, drew six, lost four.
Burkina Faso coach Paul Put was banned for three years in Belgium by the FA for his involvement in the Ye-Zheyun match fixing scandal.
The Burkina Faso nickname is Les Etalons, which means 'The Stallions', and this is in reference to the legendary horse of Princess Yennega.
- Three of the Togolese national team are either from different countries or of mixed nationalities: Alexys Romao - Brazilian Togolese. Emmanuel Adebayor - Nigerian, Jonathan Ayite - Ghanaian Togolese).
The last time the countries met was in a friendly in 2012 where Togo won 3-0 at the Stade Municipal.
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Top 3 Predictions
Burkina Faso 1-2 Togo
- 27.5 %
Burkina Faso 2-1 Togo
- 10 %
Burkina Faso 0-1 Togo
- 8.75 %
|Africa Cup of Nations (ACN)||Feb 3, 2013||Burkina Faso 1 - Togo 0|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Aug 15, 2012||Togo 0 - Burkina Faso 3|
|Africa Cup of Nations (ACN)||Jan 15, 2010||Burkina Faso 0 - Togo 0|
|Nov 19, 2013||Algeria 1 - Burkina Faso 0||WCQA|
|Oct 12, 2013||Burkina Faso 3 - Algeria 2||WCQA|
|Sep 10, 2013||Nigeria 4 - Burkina Faso 1||FR|
|Sep 7, 2013||Burkina Faso 1 - Gabon 0||WCQA|
|Aug 17, 2013||South Africa 2 - Burkina Faso 0||FR|
|14||Wilfried Benjamin Balima||Striker|
|21||Abdou Razak Traoré||Midfielder|
|-||Pan Pierre Koulibaly|
|12||Préjuce Niguimbé Nakoulma||Midfielder|
|-||Serge Ognadon Akakpo||Defender|
|-||Kossi Prince Segbefia|