Eliminated right up to the 75th minute in their final group C match against Cameroon, Burkina Faso found the resources to topple the defending champions and send them home. The Burkinabe, who will face Nigeria in the quarterfinals, are aiming to qualify for the World Cup.
Burkina Faso has come a long way. The Burkinabes were almost eliminated from the CAN U17 on Sunday night in the closing group matches against Cameroon. They were even for a moment in the skin of the eliminated almost a quarter of an hour, from the opening of the Cameroonian score until the double of the young Souleymane Alio. But they were able to find a great mental strength to get back on track.
"We had a good fighting spirit".
The readjustments of coach Brahima Traoré and the determination of the players have, indeed, changed the game. "When we conceded the first goal, we just changed our system and our tactics to be more offensive. We put pressure on them and scored both goals. We worked hard and had a good fighting spirit. We were down 1-0 but we never gave up. We had confidence in ourselves and I am happy with the desire shown by the players," said the coach.
"In Burkina, we never give up"
Souleymane Alio, the savior who scored both goals in the victory, is savoring this salutary turnaround. The 16-year-old striker, voted man of the match, agrees with his coach that determination was the key to this achievement. "I'm happy, it's thanks to my teammates that I got this award, I thank them. In Burkina, we never give up. We gave everything until the end and we were rewarded. Cameroon is a great team, they were not easy to beat, we gave everything and we were rewarded for our efforts, "he said.
"We will prepare well for Nigeria."
Burkina Faso now has World Cup qualification in its sights. To do so, they will have to eliminate Nigeria, second in Group B. "We had two objectives in this tournament; first to qualify for the semi-finals, then to fight for the title. We will prepare well for Nigeria to allow us to reach the semi-finals and win the ticket to the World Cup," said coach Brahima Traore. The match is scheduled for Thursday at 19:00 GMT.