Afcon semi-final: Ghana v Burkina Faso
Venue: Mbombela Stadium
The second semi-final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will take place tonight at the Mbombela Stadium, where Ghana fight it out against Burkina Faso for a place in the final of the 29th edition of the continental tournament.
Burkina Faso have played all their group stage games as well as their 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Togo at the same stadium, while Ghana have played all their games at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The state of the Mbombela Stadium’s pitch has come under scrutiny during the Afcon and with Burkina Faso having played all their games on the field, coach Paul Put believes that they will have a slight advantage over Ghana.
He told the Siya crew that despite the advantage of knowing the stadium, they still respect Ghana as they are a quality side.
“It’s always an advantage after having played on the pitch for four games now, but Ghana is also a technical team and a physical team as well. But what I know is that it’s still an advantage for us as we are playing in a home ground.
“Even though the pitch is very bad, it’s our home stadium and we have nothing to lose as no one expected us to play in the semi-finals,” the Belgian-born coach said.
Meanwhile his counterpart, Kwesi Appiah, said that it doesn't really matter where they play, as they target the trophy.
“We have played in different pitches before and as professional players they have to adjust to the standard of the pitch. We are aware that Burkina Faso is a good side and that why they are here and we respect that. We will approach the game with that respect but knowing that, we want to win," Appiah concluded.
Standard Bank Key Players:
Burkina Faso: Jonathan Pitriopa
Ghana: Kwasu Asamoah