Burkina Faso, Cameroon look to end on a high

Burkina Faso, Cameroon look to end on a high
Cameroon players during a training session

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Feb 05, 2022. 10:00

Burkina Faso and Cameroon will both be looking to end the Africa Cup of Nations on a high when they meet in the third-place playoff at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Saturday 5 February 2022, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Cameroon’s dreams of AFCON glory on home soil were spoiled by Egypt in Thursday’s semifinal. A grinding match in hot and humid conditions went the full 120 minutes without either team scoring (though both spurned fine opportunities to ripple the net) before the Pharaohs emerged triumphant on penalties.

Competing for third place is not something that the five-time African champions will be overjoyed with, but there is nonetheless national pride on the line. Coach Toni Conceico will also see this as an opportunity to give a run to the fringe members of the squad and test out new combinations, especially with a 2022 World Cup qualification playoff tie against Algeria set for next month.

Burkina Faso, meanwhile, underlined their status as a football powerhouse on the continent by reaching the final four of the AFCON for the third time in the past nine years, but ultimately they were no match for Senegal in Wednesday’s semifinal, succumbing 3-1.

The Stallions held the Teranga Lions goalless for almost 70 minutes, and even threatened a comeback when they were two down – thanks to a strike from outstanding midfielder Blati Toure – but Sadio Mane soon swept up the other end to kill off the Burkinabe’s hopes.

Coach Kamou Malo made no excuses for his side’s defeat, but hopes they will recover to put in a strong performance in this clash for the bronze medals.

“I congratulate my boys on this adventure,” said the Burkina Faso mentor. “We are not going to give up, there is a medal to go for. We will remobilise just to go.”

In head-to-head stats, Burkina Faso and Cameroon have met in 10 matches across all competitions dating back as far as 1998. The Indomitable Lions have claimed five wins compared to one for the Stallions, while four games have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was in the opening game of this very AFCON tournament, with Cameroon coming from behind to win 2-1 at the Olembe Stadium on January 9, thanks to a brace of penalties from Vincent Aboubakar. Burkina Faso’s opener was netted by Gustavo Sangare.

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