Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

WAFCON 2022: Burkina Faso vs Senegal preview

Posted on 5 July 2022 by Alasdair Howorth
Image courtesy of CAF Media.

It’s an all West African affair as Burkina Faso take on Senegal in matchday two of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. Burkina Faso are in need of points after falling narrowly short in the opening fixture of the competition. Senegal are on track to get out of the group phase for the first time in their history after defeating Uganda.

Burkina Faso in need of points

The Stallions came close to finding an equaliser late on against Morocco, but in truth they were poor and a draw would have flattered them enormously. They were overwhelmed regularly by Morocco’s fluid play and outside the first and last 15 minutes, struggled to get a foothold in the game.

But the match against will be a very different affair. Like the Burkinabes, Senegal prefer to play on the break and are not concerned with possession. This may allow for the Stallions to use better utilise the talents that they have.

Image courtesy of CAF Media.

Adama Congo was resourceful up front, pressing well and providing a strong outlet for her defenders. On the rare occasion that they could get right forward Juliette Nana she showed her quality. The forward based in Belarus was able to take her marker and create goal scoring opportunities the one or two times she found space.

If they can get provide them with the service, the forward line can provide a threat. Players like Limata Nikiema and Adele Kabre started on the bench against Morocco, but also provide a real create threat going forward and might be used more in what is expected to an open match.

Can history makers Senegal go one better?

When Ndeye Diakhate struck home her penalty in the 39th minute she scored her countries first ever goal at a WAFCON. The Teranga Lionesses were unable to score a single goal at their only other appearance in the competition in 2012.

Now against Burkina Faso they have the chance to go further and qualify for the quarter-finals with a victory. Senegal impressed in their victory over Uganda. They showed that they can play counter attacking brand of football, relying on their talent upfront and a low defensive block to win games.

Nguenar Ndiaye was excellent playing the lone forward role, scoring once, but having a much more complete performance beyond the goal. She ran the channels superbly and won nearly every ariel duel she had. For a defence that doesn’t look comfortable on the ball, knowing you can just clear the ball up field at random and you’ll likely retain possession is a huge luxury.

Image courtesy of CAF Media.

Behind Nguenar, the trio of Diakhate, flanked by Hapsatou Diallo and Haby Balde provide quality and creativity. Those three may enjoy more time on the ball to show their class against a side like Burkina Faso who are happy to concede possession.

The tactical approach of the two sides is very similar and they line up in a like-for-like formation. If nothing changes, the difference will be the quality on the pitch and how the players perform will dictate the outcome.

What they said

Burkina Faso head coach Pascal Sawadogo:

“Football is a pressure sport, we know what’s at stake. There is less fans in the bleachers, the opening game it was very noisy. But its not because we have pressure that we come play. We have to transform this pressure into motivation.

We have to convert this pressure and do what we came here for. It’s something we’re used to all the time. We’re used to it. But we know it’s a crucial game that we cant lose, but we’re going to transform this into motivation.”

Senegal head coach Serigné Cisse:

“I’ve seen many times the word historic came back in the headlines but this means nothing if we do not qualify from the group.”

Senegal captain Safiétou Sagna:

“I think we’re gonna be serene and trusting. We have the same objectives. We want the three points, we want to qualify, I think we’re more motivated than them.”