Angola and Burkina Faso are set to conclude their group-stage journey in the African Cup of Nations with a pivotal match at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium on Tuesday. Both teams, having secured a spot in the knockout stage, are eager to finish the group stage as winners to potentially face a less formidable opponent in the round of 16.

After a draw against Algeria in the opener, Angola found renewed confidence in the second round against group underdogs Mauritania. Despite a challenging encounter, doubles from Jelson Dala and a goal from Gilberto secured three points for Goncalves’ team, marking Angola’s first victory since July 2023. This win provides them with assurance as they approach the final round in Group D, even if they face a loss against Burkina Faso, possibly securing advancement to the knockout stage.

Angola’s determination to prolong their tournament journey is evident, given their struggle to progress beyond the group stage since hosting CAN in 2010. Despite three failed qualifications and three group stage eliminations since then, Angola is eager to break the cycle and make a deeper impact in the competition.

As they face Burkina Faso in Yamoussoukro, Angola currently leads the group, propelled by a greater number of goals scored. The history of previous encounters with Burkina Faso suggests a balanced competition, with six matches resulting in two wins for each team and two draws.

Despite a winless streak leading up to the Mauritania match, Angola had maintained an unbeaten record in their previous eight games, offering optimism for a satisfactory result in the final round.

Burkina Faso has followed a similar trajectory in the tournament, securing a victory and a draw in their first two matches. Their opening win against Mauritania, courtesy of a last-minute penalty from Bertrand Traore, set the tone for their campaign. In the subsequent match against Algeria, Burkina Faso scored twice, and although Traore had the chance to be the match-winner again, the opponents equalized twice, resulting in a 2-2 draw in stoppage time.

To clinch Group D, Herve’s team must secure a victory in the final round, trailing behind Angola based on additional tiebreakers. However, even a draw ensures their place in the AFCON knockout stage, a positive sign for the Stallions, who finished third and fourth in their last two appearances in elimination matches in 2017 and 2021.

Burkina Faso boasts a strong recent record, losing only one of their last eight matches, a friendly against Iran in preparation for the African Cup. In contrast to Angola, Herve’s team has more victories, with half of their last eight matches in all competitions ending in favor of the Stallions. This resilience and success make Burkina Faso a formidable contender as they aim to progress in the African Cup of Nations.

By Matex

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *