Fifteen years after the first Africa Cup of Nations semi-final of their history in 1998 at home, Burkina Faso have once again made it into the final four of the continental competition.
The Stallions beat Togo 1-0 in the quarterfinal on Sunday evening in Nelspruit thanks to a Jonathan Pitroipa goal in extra time, and before that had ended first in their group which comprised amongst others Nigeria and Zambia, the current African champion.
It is therefore quite an astonishing feat that Paul Put’s men have accomplished so far, given that no one would have predicted to see the Stallions still alive at this stage of the competition.
Although Burkina do not always shine offensively, since the injury of their star striker Alain Traoré against Zambia, they provisionally possess the best defence of the tournament, having conceded only a single goal in their first match against Nigeria.
And for Burkina midfielder Charles Kaboré, the Stallions are where they belong in this semi-final group.
“We have worked hard to get here. The technical staff, the directors, gave a lot of themselves. Everyone invested in it. And if we are here today, it’s because we deserve it,” stated the Olympique Marseille player to an RFI correspondent.
Burkina will be up against the Black Stars of Ghana on Wednesday in Nelspruit in the semi-finals and for Kaboré, this hurdle is not insurmountable.
“We are going to have to give the best of ourselves, go to battle. They have very good players who play in the big championships.
“But we have to stop thinking of others and rather about ourselves. It has to be said that we also have a quality team and that if we want to, we can do something big,” added the defensive midfielder.