Africa Cup of Nations: Burkina Faso looking for another `miracle`

AFP| Last Updated: Jan 17, 2015, 05:48 AM IST
Africa Cup of Nations: Burkina Faso looking for another `miracle`

Burkina Faso coach Paul Put has admitted that repeating the "miracle" of two years ago, when his side reached the Africa Cup of Nations final, may be asking too much.

The Stallions begin their 2015 Cup of Nations against Gabon in Bata on Saturday evening with hopes high that they can go far again after losing narrowly to Nigeria in the final in South Africa.

"The dream is to do better, but in 2013 it was a miracle what we did," said the Belgian Put at a press conference on Friday.

"First of all we need to get past the first round, which is always difficult. We need to be realistic."

Burkina Faso will also come up against the hosts Equatorial Guinea and Congo Brazzaville in Group A, with those two clashing in the tournament`s opening game earlier in the day.

Put will look to forward Jonathan Pitroipa, who was outstanding at the 2013 finals, to lead his side.

And he insisted that logistical problems cannot be used as an excuse for failure in a match which could be attended by a large contingent of travelling fans from nearby Gabon.

"Pitroipa can make the difference at any moment. He was the leading scorer in qualifying and he has looked motivated in training.

"It is a shame that we had difficulties getting into Bata and with our accommodation, but tomorrow there will be no excuse. We will be playing Gabon, for whom this will be like a home game."