Coach Paul Put has paid tribute to injured striker Alain Traore for his role in Burkina Faso’s push to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final.
Traore, 24, scored three goals in the group stage to help Burkina Faso win Group C on five points and book their first quarterfinal place since 1998.
However, the striker from French club Lorient sustained a thigh injury in Burkina Faso’s final Group C game against Zambia on January 29 that ended scoreless, and was ruled out of action for the next three weeks.
"This victory is for Alain because Alain is also an important player," Put said.
"For us we were very happy with his goal scoring performance because without his goals I think we wouldn’t be here."
Traore scored the equaliser against Nigeria in their opening Group C match on January 21 that ended 1-1 at Mbombela Stadium.
He later scored a brace in Burkina Faso's 4-0 win over Ethiopia in their penultimate Group C match on January 25.
And Burkina Faso captain Charles Kabore also saluted his absent teammate who left camp on February 2 to return to French club Lorient to seek treatment.
"We really missed Alain tonight (Thursday)," Kabore said.
Burkina Faso face two-time champions Nigeria in Sunday final at Soccer City in Soweto.
This will be The Stallions’ debut final appearance since finishing four as hosts in 1998.t the time for that."