EXCLUSIVE | Burkina Faso forward Diawara not surprised with AFCON run
Burkina Faso forward Banou Diawara expressed his delight at his team’s impressive Africa Cup of Nations run which saw them reach the semi-finals.
Burkina Faso were seeded with hosts Gabon, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon & debutants Guinea-Bissau.
There was little doubt that Cameroon were going to qualify from the group, with Gabon coming as second favorites since they are the hosts.
Despite that, Paulo Duarté’s men managed to stun everyone & finish top of the group, with Cameroon coming in second spot, to see hosts Gabon eliminated.
STAT ATTACK: Africa Cup of Nations hosts to exit from groups stages in history:
Ivory Coast, 1984
— KingFut.com (@King_Fut) January 22, 2017
Following their qualification, Burkina Faso again stunned Tunisia with two late goals to qualify to the semi-final.
“Yes, it’s a pleasure to qualify to the semi-finals at the end of a very complicated group with host country Gabon; Cameroon an African great and Guinea-Bissau,” Banou Diawara tells KingFut.
“It was always our first objective to make it out of the group. Then we want to take one match at a time.
Midway through the competition, Burkina Faso were hit by news that star Jonathan Pitroipa would miss the remainder of the competition through injury, a big loss to Duarté’s side.
“Yes, Jonathan is an important player for us and his could have helped us. We have up to three players absent for injury,” Diawara expressed.
“You know, the strength of our team is in our solidarity as a group, we have no star but we are ready to go far together.
Banou Diawara joined Egyptian Premier League side Smouha last summer. His exploits with Burkina Faso were remarkable, scoring a late goal against Botswana that sent his team to the Africa Cup of Nations as well as assisting his team’s equaliser in the opening match.
Should Egypt beat Morocco in the quarter-finals, Burkina Faso will face the Pharaohs meaning Diawara would come up against some familiar faces.
“Egypt’s match against Morocco will be good, where we find out our opponents but it makes no difference because at this stage of the competition, all teams are equal to us,” continued Diawara.
“And in addition Maghreb football is the same, it is a game based on possession and we will work in this sense,” concluded the 24-year-old.
It is worth noting that Burkina Faso ended as runners-up of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
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