2013 AFCON: Burkina Faso's confidence, warning to Zambia - Ahead of Tuesday's final Group C match between title holder Zambia and Burkina Faso, a seemingly innocuous statement by the Burkina coach may be an early warning for the defending champions that they will only underrate their opponents at their own peril.
'We respect the champions, Zambia. We all saw what they did a year ago and yes l expect a tough match but my team is on a roll and we are enjoying playing well, so we will take the game to the champions and not hold back.
'We have nothing to lose and we won’t be thinking about the next stage but just play this match as best as we can,” said Belgian Paul Put.
That is a tough one for Zambia, which must win its match to have any chance of staying on course to defend its title.
Though not counted among the favourites to advance from the group, Burkina Faso has proven bookmakers wrong by winning one match and drawing one to lead the group with four points.
This is unlike Zambia which has only garnered a miserable two points from the same number of matches.
If the Chipolopolo get a draw for the third time, their fate will lie on the result from the Nigeria/Ethiopia match to be played simultaneously at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
Zambian team vice-captain Kennedy Mweene captures this succinctly: “We know what we need to do going into our final group game. Yes we would have liked to be in a better position at this stage but the third matches will decide everything and we want to reach the next round and will play hard against Burkina Faso and go for a win.”
Coach Herve Renard echoed the sentiments, saying “We have done our part now in as far as preparations go and tomorrow (Tuesday) we play a good and confident Burkina Faso side so let’s see what happens. We have our chance and destiny in our own hands. I think we are
still capable of qualifying to the quarter-finals. We have to fight; we are the champions after all.'