'Villa 2' Into Final 4 - AFCON Quarter Final Review

Trézéguet's streak of form in his team's Round of 16 clash came to fruition against Tunisia, scoring the crucial goal to put his team through to the semi-finals. Traore who was stretchered off in the previous game was named on the bench, but failed to make an appearance. Both teams won their games, and are through to the semi-finals. Whilst many will be focusing on the potential of a Mane Vs Salah final, Villa fans know there is a much more exciting potential matchup on the cards, if Egypt and Burkina Faso can progress.

Burkina Faso 1- 0 Tunisia

It was a close game that got Burkina Faso through to the semi-finals. They faced Tunisia, who are 30 places higher than them in the FIFA World Rankings. The win gives the side a chance to beat their third place finish from 2017, and continues a decade of success at the tournament. Burkina Faso snuck in a goal before the half, and then held up against a dominant second half performance from Tunisia. Goal scorer Ouattara was sent off in the 82nd minute for violent conduct.

Whilst he was in the team sheet, captain Traore did not play a minute in his team's quarter-final win. He came off against Gabon with suspected exhaustion, however some have reported it as a muscle injury. Although his inclusion in the matchday squad should be a good indication that he can play if needed in upcoming games, and further doesn't signify any longer term injuries that may affect him on his return to Villa Park.

Traore Player Rating - N/A

Next Game - 2 February. Senegal

It is unclear if Traore will return to full fitness in time for his teams semi-final clash. Team coach Kamou Malo addressed Traore's possible absence in their next game stating that

No one is indispensable in my team. Our team is not dependent on a single player. We play as a unit and a team.

The Burkinian side will need all the advantages they can get against a sublime Senegalese side. A team that boast Liverpool winger Sadio Mane, Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy, and Napoli centre back Kalidou Koulibaly. Senegal got off to a slow start in the group stage, only winning one, but are undefeated in the tournament. Senegal looked dominant in their quarter-final game against Equatorial Guinea, winning 3-1.

Egypt 2-1 Morocco

A deserved win for Egypt. Star man Mo Salah shone yet again, scoring the first and assisting the second. The Egyptians came from 1-0 down to win this one. Another game that Egypt could not get finished in normal time, a cross to Trezeguet in the 100th minute assured that it would not be a repeat penalty shootout for the Egyptians.

A super-sub performance from Trezeguet, who in recent games has made the most of his limited minutes. Whilst his performance was not perfect, struggling at time to retain possession, he did what was needed of him. Trezeguet has become an important figure for the team in their extra time battles. His late goal secured the win for his side, showing yet again his ability to deliver when it counts.

Trézéguet Match Rating-8

Next Game - 3 February. Cameroon

Egypt certainly won't be local favourites when they face hosts Cameroon. The side who haven't faced on-paper heavyweights since their first game against Nigeria are certainly are in for a tough fight. So far in the tournament Egypt have thrived off of exploiting their opponents weaknesses, and Cameroon have showed this in games so far.

41 views0 comments