February 6, 2013 9:30 PM EAT
Mbombela Stadium — Nelspruit
Referee: S. Jedidi
Burkina Faso - Ghana Preview: A battle of two neighbours in search of an Afcon final place
The Stallions are hoping to race to the final for the first time away from home soil, while the Black Stars set sights on the title in a game likely to be decided by the pitch
By Nana Frimpong
H. Traore, Kone, Koulibally, Pananteguirui
Pitroipa, Rouamba, Kabore, Koffi
A. Traore, Dagano
Paintsil, Vorsah, Boye, Afful
Adomah, Asamoah, Wakaso,
Ghana come up against west African opposition on a fourth consecutive occasion at the 2013 Afcon, knowing very well that a date in the final - inevitably against another of their regional neighbours - will be guaranteed if they can successfully negotiate victory over Burkina Faso, a nation with whom they share a border to the north.
This will be a fourth successive semi-final appearance for the Ghanaians, while their opponents, the Burkinabe, have come this far only once prior, when they hosted the competition 15 years ago. On paper, Ghana appear the stronger side, having strung together three wins from four games played thus far and registering a handsome eight goals in the process. In contrast, the Stallions have only managed two victories (and two draws), with only one result - the 4-0 drubbing of unfancied Ethiopia in the second group game - truly standing out.
That notwithstanding, both sides have displayed an equal propensity for fine attacking football, although each has shown itself deficient at times when the cutting edge has been required. Defensively, the two teams have been fairly stable, having marshalled rearguards that have shipped in one (Burkina Faso) and two (Ghana) goals respectively, the least goals conceded at this stage of the competition, implying that the potency of either side in the final third could make all the difference.
Neither team will be lacking in inspiration, however, with figures like Asamoah Gyan and Mumuni Dagano capable of propelling their respective outfits to the final, and those two will be looking to put their goal scoring prowess to good use, having underperformed thus far at the tournament. History beckons for Burkina Faso, as does glory for the Black Stars, and things could not have been more perilously balanced on a knife-edge. Hopefully, the poor nature of the Mbombela Stadium pitch - which has marred a few games already - will do little to ruin the tantalising spectacle that the Ghana-Burkina Faso clash promises.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Burkina Faso are nicknamed the 'The Stallions'.
Until 1984, Burkina Faso were known as Upper Volta.
- The two nations have played 17 times prior - the most recent encounter occurring at Angola 2010 - with Ghana earning 12 victories and just one draw.
Both teams have their first-choice goalkeepers featuring in the Ghana Premier League; Burkina's Soulama Abdoulaye plays for Asante Kotoko, while Ghana's Fatau Dauda is at Ashantigold.
Also plying his trade in Ghana is another member of the present Burkina Faso squad; defender Henri Traore who is the Ghanaian goalkeeper's team-mate at club level.
Ghana (26) and Burkina Faso (92) are some 66 places apart on the latest Fifa national team rankings.
Top 3 Predictions
Burkina Faso 0-2 Ghana
- 29.42 %
Burkina Faso 1-2 Ghana
- 17.06 %
Burkina Faso 1-3 Ghana
- 9.38 %
|Africa Cup of Nations (ACN)||Feb 6, 2013||Burkina Faso 1 - Ghana 1|
|Africa Cup of Nations (ACN)||Jan 19, 2010||Burkina Faso 0 - Ghana 1|
|Jan 20, 2014||Burkina Faso 0 - Zimbabwe 1||CHAN|
|Jan 16, 2014||Burkina Faso 1 - Morocco 1||CHAN|
|Jan 12, 2014||Uganda 2 - Burkina Faso 1||CHAN|
|Nov 19, 2013||Algeria 1 - Burkina Faso 0||WCQA|
|Oct 12, 2013||Burkina Faso 3 - Algeria 2||WCQA|
|-||Préjuce Niguimbé Nakoulma|
|-||Wilfried Benjamin Balima|
|-||Abdou Razak Traoré|
|4||Christian Twasam Atsu||Striker|