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Can Stallions replicate Sterling performance at AFCON

Posted : 08 January 2024

The Stallions of Burkina Faso are undoubtedly a formidable side to be feared. They represent a compact team with good tactical ingenuity and understanding.

Over the years, the Stallions of Burkina Faso have made a significant impact at the Nations Cup, defying all odds and breaking barriers, especially in the late 2000s.

Although Burkina Faso made an early entry into African football in 1978 when the country was still known as Upper Volta, political instability hindered the growth of football until their return 18 years later in 1996.

The Stallions of Burkina Faso first appeared in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1978 but went into exile, returning to the biennial tournament in 1996.

After 1996, Burkina Faso became a regular participant, qualifying for five consecutive tournaments between 1996 and 2004. They reached the semi-finals under coach Philippe Troussier when the tournament was held on home soil in 1998.

In the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, Burkina Faso played in Group B alongside Ghana and Ivory Coast in a three-team group due to Togo's withdrawal. Despite drawing their first match against Ivory Coast, they needed just a draw against Ghana to progress. Unfortunately, they lost 1–0 and failed to qualify for the knockout stage.

In the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Burkina Faso lost all three of their matches, leading to the dismissal of coach Paulo Duarte. He was replaced by the Belgian coach Paul Put in March 2012.

The Stallions finished first in their group but lost to Nigeria in the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. This marked a period when Nigeria's legend, Stephen Keshi, made history as an African who won AFCON both as a player in 1994 and as a coach in 2013.

Burkina Faso secured a third-place finish in 2017. Expectations are high for the Stallions in AFCON 2024 as they aim to break the barrier and win the coveted diadem.

Interestingly, the Burkina Babes or Stallions qualified for the 2024 edition in style with a one-all draw against Togo in Lomé sealing the deal for them. Former Lorient player Dango Ouattara opened the scoring, and despite Kodjo Laba’s equalizer, this result secured their 13th AFCON appearance with two match days to spare. The team topped Group B with 10 points.

For AFCON 2024, a player to watch in the Stallions mix is Edmond Tapsoba. He is a right-footed defender known for his anticipation, maturity, heading, and recovery. His 'clean' play brings serenity to the defense posture, and his technical quality allows for good restarts.

Coach Hubert Velud is praised for his teams' offensive play, based on intensity, aggressive pressing, and energy. His tactical formation focuses on conservation, fluidity, and set pieces. Full-backs play a crucial role in his plan by providing offensive solutions.

The 27 players representing Burkina Faso in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Ivory Coast 2023, include goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards.

Burkina Faso's past AFCON performances:

1978: 1st Round
1996: Fourth
2000: 1st Round
2002: 1st Round
2004: 1st Round
2010: 1st Round
2012: 1st Round
2013: Finalist
2015: 1st Round
2017: Third
2021: Fourth


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