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Burkina Faso v Tunisia

Afcon 2021: Burkina Faso's record won't count against Tunisia – Malo

11:25 AM WAT 29/01/2022
 Kamou Malo, coach of Burkina Faso during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Stallions head coach says his players will not think about the past but the present when they face the Carthage Eagles

Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo has laughed off claims they are the favourites heading into their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash against Tunisia at Roumde Adjia Stadium on Saturday.

The Stallions will head into the fixture armed with history as they have beaten the Carthage Eagles in the previous two quarter-final matches - (8-7 on penalties at home in 1998 and 2-0 in the 2017 edition in Gabon.

Ahead of their third meeting, Burkinable’s Malo believes history will not count and his players will not think about the past, but the present “which is always important.”

“The next match is qualifying for the semi-finals, so it is very difficult. We have determination to continue the journey and feel the responsibility,” Malo said as quoted by CafOnline.

“Our players are young and have the enthusiasm to win and continue their way. Tunisia is a good and cohesive team, but our side is armed with spirit and determination.

“The game will not be played on paper, but on the field. We don't think about the past, but the present is always more important. We have a young ambitious team, and we can write our present and future.”

Burkina Faso midfielder Adama Guira has described their meeting against the North African side as a final.

“We are delighted to be in the quarter-finals, and we can't wait for the match which will be a final. All players are focused,” Guira explained.

“Our victory will contribute to easing things in our country and will make our people happy, and this is what we are striving for. We have young players, but they are playing at the highest levels in Europe.

“The team is well prepared, and we are among the best in the tournament. We keep improving game after game.”

Meanwhile, Tunisia assistant coach Jalel Kadri has said they will treat Burkina Faso as the strongest candidates for the title.

“Most of the teams that were candidates to play the quarter-finals are no longer here, and this indicates the strength of the competition. All the teams in the quarter-finals are on the same level,” said Kadri.

“The solidarity of the players and technical staff is what made us overcome the difficult circumstances and we do not have the luxury now to provide a level lower than the last match. We respect all the teams, and we will treat Burkina Faso as the strongest candidates for the title.

“We have to think with that mentality if we want to get far. We know that the match will be difficult in all aspects, but we will deal with it appropriately. I have confidence in all the players and each of them has a role in the game.”