AFCON SEMI-FINAL: Burkina Faso Vs Senegal

A third semi-final across their last four Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals appearances awaits Burkina Faso, who fiercely held onto a 1-0 lead to beat Tunisia in the quarters.

A penalty shootout has been needed to decide Burkina Faso’s last two AFCON semi-finals (W1, L1), and considering all of their AFCON 2021 games have been decided by a one-goal margin or ended in a draw, manager Kamou Malo may be getting his troops to practice from 12 yards ahead of this clash.

The ‘Stallions’ have been quick out of the gate in this tournament, opening the scoring in the first half in all five fixtures, while heading into the break with an exact 1-0 lead in the last four.

Another tight affair could be in store as they face off against Senegal, as seven of the last 11 H2H matches have ended in a draw (W2, L2)!The 2019 runners-up Senegal put in a stellar quarter-final performance to beat Equatorial Guinea 3-1, a match that saw them concede their first goal of the tournament.

Two of their three AFCON semi-finals this century have required extra-time, but they eventually won both, and it appears manager Aliou Cissé is focused on avenging the 2002 heartbreak he suffered as a player.

The ‘Lions of Teranga’ are keen to prove that they’re the kings of African football this time around as they pursue their first continental crown, having now chalked up an 11-game undefeated streak (W8, D3), with seven of those wins coming by a 2+ goal margin.

Players to watch:

 Burkina Faso’s Bertrand Traoré has scored the match opener in his last seven goalscoring outings for his country, a run that started with a goal vs Senegal in May 2017!

His Premier League counterpart Sadio Mané got a goal and an assist in that same match, and his nation will hope he does the same here as Senegal have never lost when Mané’s found the scoresheet (W21, D5)

Hot stat: Only one of the last 29 AFCON semi-finals has finished 0-0 in regulation time, but that was Senegal’s 2019 extra-time victory over Tunisia.

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