Burkina Faso coach Hubert Velud has congratulated Mali for defeating his side 2-1 to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
An unfortunate own goal by Edmond Tabsoba along with a second-half strike by Lassine Sinayoko were enough for the Eagles to soar over the Stallions at a packed Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium. It took just three minutes for Mali to take the lead after a powerful Amadou Haidara header came off the woodwork, but instead of it being cleared away, Tabsoba was unfortunate to see his clearance go into his net.
Returning from the recess, Sinayoko capitalised on a lapse of concentration after beating the offside trap to face the keeper and comfortably slot home with just minutes into the restart. A lifeline was given to the Stallions after Mohamed Konate’s headed effort came off the arm of Boubacar Kouyate for VAR to award the penalty that was converted by skipper, Bertrand Traore in the 57th minute.
“I honestly have no one to blame. We lost against a better side. Mali have good players. We got some opportunities but also introduced new players. I was not surprised by the quality of this team. Very good quality with top-level midfielders. Offensively, we saw a great team of Mali and we credit them,” said Velud after the game.
“We will digest this defeat. We have to review and analyze the good and the bad during our time here.The AFCON is very open for anyone to win. It is one of the best AFCONS in terms of football and organisation. It is unfortunate that we will not participate any further.”
The Eagles will now face tournament hosts Ivory Coast, who defeated African champions Senegal on penalties, in the last eight in in Bouake on Saturday.