Burkina Faso’s head coach Brahima Traore says he is proud of his players, despite their failure to make the final of the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Burkina Faso were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Senegal in Annaba, the game having to be decided on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time.

And, Traore says his players gave their all, the only shortcoming being the failure to use their chances.

They had hoped for a fourth consecutive final having qualified in 1999, 2001 and 2011 when they won the title.

“I want to congratulate my players because against a team like Senegal, many didn’t think we could go to penalties. It is true we were ineffective infront of goal, but it happens. Sometimes we were too much in a hurry and other times we made the wrong decisions. But these are young players and they will learn. We will continue to work with them for their development,” the tactician noted.

He added that he was dejected not to make the final.

“We wanted to qualify as a gift to the people of Senegal. I am sad we could not manage it despite dominating the game. I think we deserved to go to the final. We will not reproach ourselves for anything. We played well and the players gave a good fight,” the coach said.

He now turns his attention to the third and fourth play-off match against Mali on Wednesday, where he hopes his side can battle to finish the tournament with a medal.


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