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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Burkina Faso lacked experience against Cameroon because ‘we have a young team’ – Traore

11:01 GMT+3 11/01/2022
Tolo Nouhou of Cameroon (r) challenged by Bertrand Traore of Burkina Faso.
The 26-year-old forward feels the Stallions had the opening game against the Indomitable Lions in their hands but they threw it away

Burkina Faso captain Bertrand Traore believes a lack of experienced players in their squad denied them a winning start in the Africa Cup of Nations against hosts Cameroon on Sunday.

The Stallions started the opening Group A fixture against the Indomitable Lions on a high note, taking a deserved lead through Gustava Sangare in the 24th minute.

Cameroon hit back with two penalties converted by captain Vincent Aboubakar, in the 40th and 45th minutes, to win 2-1 at Stade Omnisport Olembe.

“We had the game and then we threw it away,” Traore, who turns out for Premier League side Aston Villa, told BBC Sport Africa.

“We had a lack of experience because we have got a young team.”

On playing the tournament’s opening game and against the hosts, Traore said: “To play in the opening game against Cameroon is not easy. We gave everything and fought to the end, but the only thing we didn't do well was the game management.”

Traore, who has also played for Chelsea and French side Lyon, was at fault for Cameroon’s opening goal as he conceded a penalty after a clumsy tackle on the advancing Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and it was awarded after a review by the video assistant referee.

Speaking on the penalties situation, Traore said: “We gave away two penalties. The first was a mistake by myself, and the second one we could have tried to avoid.

“We had an opportunity to have three points or at least one point, but the most important thing is to learn from this. We still have two games to win and go through. We will do everything to be able to qualify.”

Meanwhile, Cameroon forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting felt their comeback win against the Stallions was a clear indicator they are mentally prepared to do well in the competition.

“It shows our mentality,” Choupo-Moting said as quoted by the same portal.

“It is not easy to deal with this situation when you go a goal behind at home and you know you want to win. We handled it well and that is good for us.

“We believe in ourselves and told ourselves before the game that no matter what happens, we continue until the end.”

Burkina Faso will hope to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Cape Verde in their second group match while Cameroon will come up against Ethiopia on Thursday.