Burkina Faso will face Cote d’Ivoire in the final tomorrow
Burkina Faso will face Cote d’Ivoire in the final tomorrow
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Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire clash in WAFU U17 final as Ghana, Nigeria battle for bronze

The Stallions of Burkina Faso are set for a showdown with the Baby Elephants of  Côte d'Ivoire in the final of the WAFU Zone B U-17 Championship at the University of Ghana Stadium at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

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Both Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire shockingly snatched the final slots from favourites Ghana and defending champions Nigeria, respectively, in last Saturday’s semi-finals, making tomorrow’s match a must-watch.

With Ghana and Nigeria out of the way, the two finalists have automatically qualified for the U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be staged in Morocco next year as the WAFU Championship served as qualifiers for the AFCON.

The Burkinabe finished the group stage tying on seven points with Nigeria but with superior goals, while Cote d’Ivoire had just three points in second place behind Ghana.

With that impressive performance, the Burkinabe remain unbeaten in the competition after drawing goalless with Nigeria in their opening Group B match, while defeating Togo 2-0, Niger 1-0 and Ghana 2-1 in the semi-finals.

On the other hand, Côte d'Ivoire lost their opening game 5-1 to Ghana, and won 1-0 against Benin, before rounding it off with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in the semi-finals.

The statistics make Burkina Faso favourites and provide an opportunity for Head Coach, Oscar Barro, to prove his squad’s mettle with a resolute display and a possible victory.

Coach Oscar Barro can feature any of his reliable charges to execute the job, including goalkeeper Yaya Sagnon, Asharaf Tabsoba, Alassana Bagayogo, Cheick Sanogo, Isaac Traore, Issouf Dabo, Fadil Barro, Mohamed Fofana, Issouf Bara and Kobana Ouattara. 

The rest are Cherif Aboubacar, Cherif Badra Barro, Abdoulaye Latif Diaby, Adama Bande, Ibrouahima Fofana, Issouf Sangare, Assifou Kone, Prince Ouedraogo, Comi Abdoul Ouattara and Tegawnend Yaniss Sebego. 

For  Côte d'Ivoire, Head Coach Bassiriki Diabate will likely employ the services of goalkeeper Christ Yanick Kouassi, Vaboue Doumbia, Amougnan Jean Marcsea, Mohamed Diarra, Ange Emmanuel Emile Zongo, Christ Jael Edi Kouassi, Cedric Gobehi and Daan Dos Milos Yoboue.

Also available for selection are Ibrahim Dosso, Kambou Aboubacar Fofana, Adama Biabete, Vasseri Sylla, Biirie Alex Bolou, Youbah Coulibaly, Adama Some, Adama Drame Souhalio Bamba, Tape Yannis Touali, Moise Diarrasouba and Moussa Kone.

In the third-place playoff, rivals Ghana and Nigeria will battle for bronze and a possible qualification for the U-17 AFCON as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is yet to make a pronouncement as to how many teams from the sub-regional WAFU B qualifying tournament will make it to the continental showpiece.

Two years ago, only the two finalists qualified for the U17 AFCON, but with the expansion of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, more African teams can be guaranteed spots in the tournament.

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