Nigeria v Burkina Faso - AFCON Final preview
A look ahead to Sunday's match
Friday 08 February 2013
Sunday sees Nigeria take on Burkina Faso in the final of the African Cup of Nations in Johannesburg.
Those watching will be hoping for a more exciting game than last year's final which failed to produce a goal in over 120 minutes of playing time, although ended with the drama of unfancied Zambia shocking favourites Ivory Coast in a penalty shootout.
When: 18:00 GMT - Soccer City, Soweto (Live on ITV4)
Nigeria - The Super Eagles go into the match as clear favourites having twice been crowned African champions with wins in 1980 and 1994. It is however their first appearance in a final since 2000 when they lost to Cameroon.
Burkina Faso - Les Etalons are clear underdogs for Sunday's game which marks their first appearance in a final. Previously their best in the tournament was reaching the semi-finals in 1998 when they were tournament hosts.
Route to the final...
Both sides were drawn in Group C meeting in their first group match, a game that Burkina Faso managed to draw with the last kick of the game. The group was a closely fought affair with Nigeria eventually having to settle for the runner-up spot on goal difference.
Burkina Faso then went on to beat Togo 1-0 in extra time before winning a thrilling penalty shootout against Ghana in the semi-final in a game that ended 1-1 after extra time.
Nigeria meanwhile overcame pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast 2-1 before comfortably dispatching Mali 4-1 in their semi-final.
One to watch...
Nigeria: John Obi Mikel - A candidate for player of the tournament, the Chelsea midfielder has been hugely impressive so far in South Africa. Providing a series of mature performances, he has provided a calming influence in the middle of the pitch which has allowed Nigeria's more free-flowing, attacking players to flourish.
Burkina Faso: Jonathan Pitroipa - having had his controversial semi-final dismissal overturned, the winger will want to make the most of his second chance and will be hoping to repeat his goal-scoring heroics from the quarter-finals - particularly with Les Etalons' top scorer Alain Traoré out injured.
To win: Nigeria - 2, Burkina Faso - 3.8
First goalscorer: Emmanuel Emenike 5.5, Ikechukwu Uche 6, Ideye Aide Brown 6.5, Ahmed Musa 7, Victor Moses 7.5, Moumouni Dagano, 8, Sunday Mba 8.5, Hugues Wilfried Dah 9, Jonathan Pitroipa 9
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