Paulo Duarte: First semifinal will be a tactical war

Paulo Duarte: First semifinal will be a tactical war
Paulo Duarte

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Feb 01, 2017. 09:30

Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte expects tonight’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against Egypt to be a “tactical war”.

The Stallions are the only team remaining in the competition who have never won the AFCON before and they will come up against the competition’s most successful side, seven-time champions Egypt.

The teams will meet in Libreville this evening, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

“We are playing a semifinal. It’s most important thing for us. It will be a collective mission. We are playing against the most successful team in Africa,” Duarte said in his press conference on Tuesday.

“We shall have possession of the ball. They use the counter and we shall work had to stop it. They have [Mohamed] Salah who is very dangerous, but we can handle him. We expect to win.

“We have shown and convinced the public that Burkina Faso can play good football. We have unity in the team.”

Burkina Faso will have to make a piece of history if they are to advance to Sunday’s final, having never beaten the Pharaohs before, but this doesn’t worry Duarte.

“I do not believe in history. It is delusion. Each match creates its own history. Burkina Faso versus Egypt will be a tactical war,” he added. “All our players are focused for the match against Egypt.

“If you ask me how we are going to stop Mohamed Salah, it’s like asking the coach of Egypt how are they stopping Bertrand Traoré.

“Playing in Libreville throughout is not the only advantage. Senegal lost yet they were playing in Franceville throughout,” he concluded.

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