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Put backs Burkina Faso to continue dream run

Burkina Faso coach Paul Put was thrilled with his side after their 1-0 extra-time win over Togo in the African Cup of Nations on Sunday.

Both sides struggled to conjure any notable chances on what was a woeful playing surface at the Mbombela Stadium but Burkina Faso sealed the win thanks to a 105th-minute header from Jonathan Pitroipa.

Put was pleased with his players’ ability to keep the ball despite the poor state of the field and believes their victory was more than deserved.

“We have always doubts (about getting this far in the competition) but I think they way we have been playing, being patient, trying to circulate the ball. You have to remember that although the pitch was not good it was the same for both teams, it was very difficult,” he said.

“The players were very patient and were trying to find the openings, we had better ball position than Togo and although we only had a few chances I am very proud of the way we have been playing and they way … the players have been behaving.”

The Stallions will now face Ghana in their semi-final and while Put admitted it will be a tough ask to beat a Black Stars side littered with talent, he insisted his men will go into the Wednesday’s game with confidence.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, so I cannot see into the ball but what I do know is that we are going to play with confidence, we have nothing to lose and we are going to be playing on our home pitch. It’s not a very good pitch but it is at least our home stadium now,” he said, referring to his team’s familiarity with the surface in Nelspruit.

“We are happy we can play here and we will see. We know Ghana are a very big team but we have also played Nigeria and Zambia so in football everything is possible, you have to be positive and think positive and I will tell the players that.”

Mon 4 February, 2013
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