Burkina Faso and Senegal, both losing finalists in 2013 and 2019 will go head-to-head tonight in one of the semi-finals for a place in the grand finale of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé.
It will be recalled that Burkina Faso lost 1-0 in the final to Nigeria in 2013 while Senegal lost by the same scoreline to Algeria in 2019 in Egypt.
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It will be recalled that both countries have never won the trophy and both equally have a chance to conquer the continent for the first time but only one of them will reach the finals.
Burkina Faso against all odds is now among Africa’s best four teams and have been impressive since the tournament started over three weeks ago in Cameroon.
However, since 2006 they have been unable to defeat Senegal in each of their last four meetings.
After suffering a 2-1 defeat in the hands of Cameroon in the tournament’s curtain-raiser on January 9, Kamou Malo’s men bounced back to winning ways four days later to defeat Cape Verde 1-0 to end their group as runners-up.
The Stallions as they are called showed the world what they are made of when they stunned Tunisia 1-0 in last Saturday’s quarter-finals encounter.
Records have it that Burkina Faso are unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 games across all competitions — picking up five wins and five draws — with their group-stage defeat in the hands of the Indomitable Lions being the only exception.
Similarly, Senegal started the tournament slowly but have surely found a way to grind out the results.
They kicked off their campaign with a 97th-minute penalty which was converted by Sadio Mane to see off a dogged Zimbabwe side and played out goalless draws against Guinea and Malawi respectively.
The Teranga Lions, however, ended the group with five points from three games to secure a knockout stage berth which at this point was business time.
Senegal defeated Cape Verde 2-0 before convincingly defeating Equatorial Guinea in last Sunday’s quarter-finals 3-1 and now head into this game unbeaten in 11 straight games, claiming eight wins and three draws.