After just over three weeks of action we are down to the final four of the Africa Cup of Nations and each team has their eyes set firmly on the prize. The first semi-final will see Burkina Faso and Senegal face off, two teams searching for their first Africa Cup of Nations crown. This is Senegal’s 16th appearance at AFCON and they will be looking to go one further than they managed in 2019, when they lost in the final to Algeria (their second runners-up finish). The group stage wasn’t the most inspiring for Senegal despite winning their group as the Lions of Teranga won one and drew two of their three games, but they have been a bit more assured in the knockout rounds with a 2-0 victory over Cape Verde and 3-1 win against Equatorial Guinea.
Burkina Faso, meanwhile, are in their 12th AFCON with one previous final appearance when they lost to Nigeria in 2013. Les Étalons go somewhat under the radar compared to what may be known as the major African nations, but they are an impressive side and secured their spot in the last 16 with a second-placed finish in Group A behind hosts Cameroon. It was Cameroon who beat Burkina Faso in the opening fixture, but Les Étalons bounced back with four points from their next two games to set up a last 16 tie with Gabon, which they won on penalties. Burkina Faso beat Tunisia 1-0 in the quarter-finals thanks to Dango Ouattara’s first-half strike, pulling off something of a shock.
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Burkina Faso vs Senegal: Match Stats
Senegal have shown a lot of defensive solidity in the Africa Cup of Nations so far, conceding just one goal in their five games to date, truly frustrating their opponents. While they do have FIFA’s The Best Goalkeeper in Edouard Mendy, it’s their defence and midfield that also deserve a lot of credit, with Senegal averaging just seven shots per game in the Africa Cup of Nations – the second-best record in the tournament.
Three players come into this game with two yellow cards at this year’s tournament, and of the trio, Pape Gueye is the man most likely to receive a booking in the semi-final. Gueye’s two yellow cards have come in just 178 minutes on the pitch in Cameroon, averaging just over a card per 90 minutes at AFCON. In the goalless draw with Malawi, he was booked within three minutes of coming on the pitch and played 18 total, and last time out he was booked after 18 minutes.
5 September 2017 – Burkina Faso 2-2 Senegal – World Cup Qualifying
2 September 2017 – Senegal 0-0 Burkina Faso – World Cup Qualifying
22 May 2014 – Burkina Faso 1-1 Senegal – Friendly
8 September 2007 – Senegal 5-1 Burkina Faso – Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying
7 October 2006 – Burkina Faso 1-1 Senegal – Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying
It’s been over four years since Burkina Faso and Senegal last faced off, with a pair of draws coming in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. That has largely been the story of this fixture, as six of the 10 previous meetings have ended level, with both Burkina Faso and Senegal winning two.