The Gabon AFCON 2017 is set to resume on Wednesday (today) in the first semi final that pits 2013 finalists, Burkina Faso, against seven-times champions, Egypt.
Burkina Faso are enjoying the greatest footballing times in their history. Before 2013, their only achievement of note was a fourth place finish at AFCON 1998, which they hosted. That was until their golden generation came along. In 2013, they put on a magnificent run to the final, thanks mainly to the exploits of Jonathon Pitroipa, and were narrowly edged out 1-0 by Sunday Mba’s goal for Nigeria in the final. Later that year, they were dealt another cruel blow as Algeria denied them a place at the World cup on away goals after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate. This year, things are again looking bright for the Stallions, they sit top of their World Cup qualification group and are into the semi-finals of AFCON. They will be desperate to shake off their recent near misses and lift the continental title for the first time ever.
They reached this stage thanks to their 2-0 win over Tunisia in the quarter-finals. A much-changed side did well to hold the North-African side for most of the game but the late introduction of Aristide Bance made the difference as he put his side into an 81st-minute lead which was consolidated five minutes later by Prejuce Nakoulma, his second of the tournament.
On the other hand, Egypt can draw inspiration from a famous win over then hosts Burkina Faso in 1998 when they meet the same opponents in the African Cup of Nations semi-final on Wednesday, but will have to make up for more and more injuries.
The Pharaohs met Burkina Faso at the same stage 19 years ago, claiming a 2-0 win thanks to a brace from their all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan.
Egypt also came back from two goals down to record a 4-2 group-stage win over Burkina Faso in an exciting group-stage game in the 2000 Nations Cup.
Head to Head
The teams have met 6 times before, With Egypt winning 4 whilst 2 games have ended in stalemates. Burkina Faso will go into the match needing a famous first victory.