Burkina Faso faces Uganda with a place in the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, Mauritania 2021 semifinal at stake for both sides.
The Young Stallions of Burkina Faso and the Hippos of Uganda were convincing in the group stage and they both deserved their spots in the quarterfinals, and now they want to go a step further when they lock horns on Thursday at Stade Cheikha Ould Boidiya in Nouakchott.
After a lackluster barren stalemate against Tunisia in their opening game, back-to-back wins against Central African Republic (3-1) and Namibia (1-0) earned Burkina Faso top spot in Group B to reach the quarters in style.
Meanwhile, Uganda had a 1-0 defeat to Group A leaders Cameroon in between two victories, 2-0 against Mozambique and a hard fought 2-1 over hosts Mauritania when they came from behind to secure their quarterfinal spot.
While Uganda are having their Total U-20 AFCON debut, Burkina Faso are tasting the Youth showpiece for the 4th time. Burkina Faso Young Stallions finished fourth back in 2003, while Ugandan football is having what could be considered their best era, with national teams appearing in almost all the major CAF competitions (AFCON 2019, CHAN 2020, U-20 AFCON and U-17 AFCON 2021).
“It’s going to be a tough mission against Uganda, a team with many qualities,” Burkina Faso coach Oscar Barro said.
“A new tournament starts now. We were happy to finish the group on top but this means nothing now.”
Meanwhile, Uganda coach Morley Byekwaso admitted his side is facing a tough mission against Burkina Faso.
“I believe this is going to be more difficult than all our group games, but we are ready and have the quality to go on. This is a tournament full of surprises and some great teams conceded defeats. But we have to respond and give our best,” he said.