Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Put delight as Burkina Faso reach semis

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Tireless efforts and training ground work was the difference as Burkinabe beat Togo

Sportsbeat
By Sportsbeat
Burkina Faso
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Togo
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Burkina Faso coach Paul Put admits his side’s tireless efforts took him by surprise after their extra-time heroics against Togo sent them into the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.

Jonathan Pitroipa headed home after 105 minutes, booking the Burkinabe their second ever last-four place – 15 years after reaching the same stage on home turf.

Though Put was taken aback by the Stallions desire to fight for a match-up against Ghana on Wednesday, the Belgian explained that patience was key.

“Physically, they surprised me with what they gave today, the will was there and now they have the reward of a place in the semi-finals,” said Put.

“There are always doubts going into extra-time, but the players were patient and we had more possession than Togo.

“I’m the happiest coach at this tournament right now as all we worked on in training came into play when it mattered.”

However, Togo boss Didier Six was not too downhearted after guiding the Sparrow Hawks to a historic first quarter-final.

As a young side spearheaded by Tottenham Hotspur marksman Emmanuel Adebayor, Six believes his charges did their country proud.

“At this stage of the competition you cannot underrate any team and we made history by reaching the quarter-finals,” said the Frenchman.

“We were disappointed to lose but overall this young team with so many qualities made it for the first time to the last eight – that is a big achievement for us.”

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