Super Eagles or Stallions?

2013-02-10 10:00

It’s their first Afcon final, but they’re pure class

Burkina Faso’s guts and their will to win will see them lift the Africa Cup of Nations trophy at the National Stadium tonight.

The Stallions have been the most difficult side to beat because of these characteristics and the trophy is theirs if they take on Nigeria with the same mentality.

Paul Put’s team was destined to earn respect and recognition at some point – they hardly complained about the sandy Mbombela Stadium pitch where they were based.

The reason why they finished ahead of Nigeria in the group standings should be obvious.

“When we arrived in this competition the only person who believed in us was our coach,” Burkina Faso’s captain Charles Kaboré remarked midweek.

True to the Olympique Marseille midfielder’s comment, not many would claim to have picked them as favourites to contest the final. After all, Burkina Faso’s best run was a fourth-place finish 25 years ago when they hosted.

Nigeria rarely came under pressure from opponents at any stage of the tournament – but The Eagles will not have forgotten how the Burkinabé punched a hole in their defence to force a point in injury time during the group stages.

The Stallions played 240 minutes in their last two fixtures, but they still have players with hunger waiting on the sidelines.

Put benched the team’s established striker and captain Moumouni Dagano in favour of Bundesliga-based Aristide Bancé.

His aerial strength and ability to take shots at goal in tight situations should be a serious concern for the Nigerian rearguard.

It’s going to be 2-1 to Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso at a glance


Coach Paul Put’s team is a group of fighters who play for each other.

Even the absence of striker Alain Traore is hardly noticed.

The team’s style is defined by their confidence on the ball and decisiveness when in possession.

Put also has the luxury of picking big target men between Aristide Bance and Moumouni Dagano.


When their key players are tightly marked, the Stallions resort to taking shots from a distance and this has never yielded results.


The Stallions prefer the 4-5-1 formation, which transforms into a 4-3-3 pattern when they attack.

They build from the back through Bakary Kone and Keba Paul Koulibally, who always take their time on the ball to locate their best players in midfield – Jonathan Pitroipa and Charles Kabore, who are capable of changing the game with their speed, skill and decision-making.

Road to the final

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.