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Football | Afcon

Paul Put © Backpagepix

Burkina Faso bank on renewed swag



Burkina Faso coach Paul Put is happy to see his side playing with an increasing swag and confidence.

The Stallions started their campaign against Nigeria and appeared to be headed for a defeat until Alain Traoré rescued a point with a last minute goal.

They then went on to score a comfortable 4-0 win over Ethiopia, a result which sees the west African side topping Group C going into the final round of games.

Apart from when Burkina Faso reached the last four when hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in 1998, they have never made it past the first round.

But provided they can avoid defeat to Zambia at the Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday evening, the Stallions will enter the last eight bracket.

Put is quietly confident as he watches his side pick up momentum and feels his men are playing with a good degree of freedom.

“The mind [of the players] is released and the head is free because they have confidence from winning the last game 4-0 despite being 10 against 11.

“Now it’s up to them to prove themselves, but I have the confidence that we will do everything possible,” said the Frenchman.

Captain Moumouni Dagano meanwhile is refusing to get too carried away by what has been achieved so far.

“We know and respect Zambia but the quality of our team is the collective of the team and that’s what we will bring onto the field.

“We don’t have to fly, we have to keep our feet on the floor. We’ve achieved better results than in other African Cup of Nations by winning and drawing, but we still aren’t qualified so we have to work hard and concentrate,” said the 32-year-old.

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