Burkina Faso coach Malo
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Douala
Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo has called on African football authorities to have trust in their local coaches after they defeated Gabon on Sunday to advance to the quarter-final stage at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cameroon.
The 59-year-old is one of 15 native coaches in charge of teams at the ongoing Afcon marking a significant shift in favour of local managers, who have been long overshadowed at the finals by foreign coaches from Europe and South America.
“I don’t focus on the colour of the skin, but what I think is that our football authorities should learn to have trust in their local coaches,” Coach Malo said in a post-match press conference.
“Africa shouldn’t be a prison for our colleagues.”
The former Burkinabe international, took over the Stallons in July 2019 replacing the Portuguese Paolo Duarte.
Burkina Faso defeated 10-man Gabon 7-6 in penalty shoot-out with substitute Ismahila Ouedraogo netting the winner after 1-1 draw both at full time and extra time.
The Stallons took the lead through skipper Bertrand Traore who sent a low left footed finish past the advancing Gabonese goalie Jean Noel Amonome from over 25 yards out after receiving a perfectly placed pass from Dango Ouattara in the 28thminute.
The Aston Villa forward had earlier missed a penalty and was substituted in the second half.
Gabon were reduced to 10 men after Sidney Mboumini was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 65th minute in a match that saw 15 yellow cards given by Moroccan referee Redouane Jiyed.
Burkina Faso wasted several chances and paid the price in the first minute of stoppage time (90+1 minutes) when Ecuele Manga’s header from Denis Bouanga’s cross from the left wing deflected in to take the match to extra time.
The Stallons won on penalties, and will now lock horns with Tunisia in the quarter-final in Garoua on Saturday.
Tunisia narrowly defeated 10-man Nigeria 1-0 in the round of 16.
“It wasn’t an easy match, we had the opportunities to kill the game but we didn’t, that’s football,” Coach Malo who had his son Patrick on the bench added.
“We had an opponent that fought hard to the end, and I regret that we did win the match inside the 90 minutes.”
“What is important is to draw lessons from the match and I’m happy that we won.
“Congratulations to my players.”
Coach Malo on Bertrand Traore: “I’m happy with my captain Bertrand Traore despite him missing a penalty, we found in him a good leader.”