Jonathan Pitroipa of Burkina Faso
Wednesday Nov 12, 2014. 11:32
Burkina Faso could secure progression to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations when they face Lesotho in Maseru this Saturday. Kick-off at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru is set for 16:00 CAT.
The Stallions are currently second in Group C, one point behind leaders Gabon, three ahead of third-placed Angola and a further two from last-placed Lesotho.
Should they claim victory in Maseru and Angola fail to defeat the log leaders in Luanda, then Burkina Faso will secure their 10th AFCON finals appearance.
However, Paul Put’s side has had to overcome several obstacles in the build-up to this match.
They are missing key playmaker Alain Traore, goalkeeper Daouda Diakité and striker Moumouni Dagano. In addition, Abdou Razack Traore and Prejuce Nakoulma were named in their original 24-man squad but have had to be replaced by Fadil Sido and Banou Diawara due to injury.
The Stallions had also planned a camp in South Africa following political instability in Burkina Faso after the ousting of former president Blaise Compaore on November 7, but it was cancelled due to administrative difficulties.
Nonetheless, having beaten Lesotho 2-0 in their opening qualifier back in September, the Burkinabe will be confident of picking up three points in the Southern African mountain kingdom.
Yet the Crocodiles should not be taken lightly – they managed to hold Gabon and Angola to respective 1-1 and 0-0 draws in Maseru and will be keen on maintaining an unbeaten home record.
The teams will wrap up their qualification campaigns next week Wednesday, with Burkina hosting Angola and Lesotho away to Gabon.